On a cold December 1979 night in the heart of northern Minnesota’s Iron Range one Aaron James Brown joined the rag-tag lot of babies born in the waning operation of the old Hibbing general hospital. The hospital would later be razed to become a senior living community where, one day, Brown hopes to expire in the precise physical location of his birth. Meantime, since 2006, he has run the extremely unprofitable and unpredictable “don’t-call-it-regional” blog you are now reading.
Brown is a writer, radio producer and college instructor living and working by choice in the pine forests, tamarack swamps and hardscrabble mining towns not far from where he grew up on a family owned salvage yard in the Sax-Zim peat bog.
He has written a column for Hibbing Daily Tribune since 2001, serving as the paper’s editor from 2001-2003. A past radio announcer and reporter, he now writes commentary for 91.7 KAXE-Northern Community Radio, including the Saturday morning talk and music show “Between You and Me” where he is a contributing producer. Brown is the author of the book “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range,” winner of the 2008 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. In 2011, Brown founded the Great Northern Radio Show, a public radio variety program originating from Northern Community Radio, which he produces and hosts from venues across Minnesota.
An instructor of communication at Hibbing Community College by day, Brown is a raconteur and reluctant Iron Range political operative, a longtime coordinator of (Bob) Dylan Days in Hibbing and a frequent contributor to various things you find on the internet. He enjoys history and the future, but struggles with the present.
Brown is married to the writer Christina Brown. They have three sons, Henry, Douglas and George, and live in the woods of Itasca County, home to more than 1,000 of Minnesota’s famed “10,000 lakes.”
Photo: Jeff Warner, Hibbing Daily Tribune