In the late 1960s, Brown moved to Columbus, Ohio, to work for WVKO Radio, where he became active in the community. Brown’s political activism in Columbus won him a seat with the 29th House District of the Ohio State Legislature. In his first year, Brown passed more legislation than any other freshman representative in Ohio State legislative history. In his third term, Brown served as chair of the Human Resources Committee.
In 1981, Brown left the Ohio State House of Representatives to care for his ailing mother back in Florida. While in Miami, he continued to focus on social issues by developing a youth center training program. In 1986, Brown entered the public speaking arena on a full-time basis and formed Les Brown Enterprises, Inc. In 1989, Brown received the National Speakers Association’s highest award, the Council of Peers Award of Excellence (CPAE). In 1990, Brown recorded the Emmy Award-winning series of speeches entitled You Deserve, which became the lead fundraising program of its kind for pledges to PBS stations nationwide. In 1991, Toastmasters International selected Brown as one of the world’s best speakers and awarded him the Golden Gavel Award.
Les Brown ranks amongst the nation’s leading authorities in understanding and stimulating human potential; he is a featured guest on many radio broadcasting stations and is often hired by professional corporations to teach and inspire new levels of achievement.