Paul Brown was born on September 7, 1908, in Norwalk, Ohio, a small town north of Canton (home of the Football Hall of Fame and where the National Football League was founded in 1920). Brown's father, Lester, was a railroad dispatcher and responsible for split-second switching of trains from one track to another. This precision rubbed off on the young Paul Brown, and decades later Coach Brown would leave nothing to chance in his football programs.
As a young man, Paul Brown played football when it was only beginning to emerge in America as a sport with a following. When Brown entered Massillon High School, he was skinny, but would earn the right to play quarterback, learning early that his true passion was in overseeing the game.
He graduated from Massillon in 1926. From there he went on to play at Miami University in Ohio. Although he saw some success on the playing field, it was dictating
what should happen and controlling all aspects of the game that truly resonated in Paul Brown. He aspired to a coaching position, and the decades he spent at the helm of football programs would change the game of football forever.