Brene Brown Biography & Facts
Casandra Brené Brown (born 1965) is an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership. A long-time researcher and academic, Brown became famous following a widely-viewed TED talk in 2010. Since then she has written six number-one New York Times bestselling books, hosts two podcasts and has filmed a lecture for Netflix.
Brown holds the Huffington Foundation's Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Early life and education
Brown was born on November 18, 1965, in San Antonio, Texas, where her parents Charles Arthur Brown and Casandra Deanne Rogers baptized her in the Episcopal Church. She is the eldest of four children. Her family then moved to New Orleans.Brown completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, followed by a Master of Social Work degree in 1996, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in social work at the University of Houston in 2002.
Research and teaching
Brown has spent decades studying the topics of courage, vulnerability, shame, empathy, leadership and wholeheartedness. These various topics are all different lenses that Brown has used to look at human connection and how it works.Brown has spent her research career as a professor at her alma mater, the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work.
Brown is best known for her TEDx talk from Houston in 2010, "The Power of Vulnerability," which is one of the fifth most viewed TED talks and its popularity shifted Brown's work from relative obscurity in academia into the mainstream spotlight. The talk "summarizes a decade of Brown’s research on shame, framing her weightiest discoveries in self-deprecating and personal terms." Reggie Ugwu for The New York Times said that this event gave the world "a new star of social psychology".She went on to follow this popular TED talk with another titled "Listening to Shame" in 2012. In the second talk she talks about how her life has changed since the first talk and explains the connection between shame and vulnerability, building on the thesis of her first TED talk.Brown also has a less well-known talk from 2010 given at TEDxKC titled "The Price of Invulnerability." In it she explains that when numbing hard and difficult feelings, essentially feeling vulnerable, we also numb positive emotions, like joy.This lead to the creation of her filmed lecture, Brené Brown: The Call to Courage, which debuted on Netflix in 2019. USA Today called it "a mix of a motivational speech and stand-up comedy special." Brown discusses how and why to choose courage over comfort, equating being brave to being vulnerable. According to her research, doing this opens us up to love, joy, and belonging by allowing us to better know ourselves and be more deeply connect with other people.Brown also regularly works as a public speaker at private events and businesses, such as at Alain de Botton's School of Life and at Google and Disney.
She is, as of 2021, the author of six number-one New York Times bestsellers, namely The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, Dare to Lead, and Atlas of the Heart.
In March 2013, she talked with Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday about her book, Daring Greatly. Brown says she drew the title of that book from a 1910 Theodore Roosevelt speech "Citizenship in a Republic", given at the Sorbonne.Brown's most recent book is titled Atlas of the Heart, published in November 2021, where the goal is to help readers expand the language they have available to communicate their feelings, an emotional vocabulary.
In 2020, Brown began hosting the Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcasts.Unlocking Us alternates between interviews with high-profile guests and solo episodes where Brown talks alone, directly to listeners. In these solo episodes Brown tells personal stories from her life, explains learnings from her research, and supplements it with summaries of other related social science work. Interview guests include grief expert David Kessler, singer Alicia Keys, writer Glennon Doyle, and activist Tarana Burke who started the Me Too movement.
Brown is CEO of "The Daring Way", a professional training and certification program on the topics of vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.Brown has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.
Brown appeared as herself in the movie Wine Country.
Brown met Steve Alley in 1987 and they dated for seven years prior to their marriage in 1994. The couple has two children. The family lives in Houston, Texas.Though baptized in the Episcopal Church, her family raised her as a Catholic. She later left the Catholic Church and returned to the Episcopal community with her husband and children two decades later.
During her time in higher education, Brown has described addiction to a combination of alcohol, smoking, emotional eating and an addiction to control. Brown stopped drinking and smoking and went to her first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on May 12, 1996, one day after her master's program graduation. She has been sober since then and often talks about the positive impact of that on her life.
"Feminist Standpoint Theory" and "Shame Resilience Theory". In S. P. Robbins, P. Chatterjee & E. R. Canda (Eds.), Contemporary human behavior theory: A Critical Perspective for Social Work. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 560 pp. ISBN 978-0134779263 Published 2007.
I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power. Avery. 336 pp. ISBN 978-1592403356 (2007)
Connections: A 12-Session Psychoeducational Shame-Resilience Curriculum. Center City, MN: Hazelden. ISBN 978-1592857425 (2009)
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City, MN: Hazelden. 160 pp. ISBN 978-1592858491 (2010)
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. New York City: Gotham. 320 pp. ISBN 978-1592408412 (2012)
Rising Strong: The Reckoning, the Rumble, the Revolution. Spiegel & Grau, now Random House. 352 pp. ISBN 978-0812985801 (2015)
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Random House. 208 pp. ISBN 978-0812985818 (2017)
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Random House. 320 pp. ISBN 978-0399592522 (2018)
The Gifts of Imperfection (10th Anniversary Edition). 256 pp. ISBN 0593133587 (2020)
Atlas of the Heart. Random House. 336pp. ISBN 9780399592553 (2021)Honors and awards
In 2009 Houston Woman Magazine voted Brown one of the city's most influential women. She has also received teaching awards, in.... Discover the Brene Brown popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Brene Brown books.