November 18, 1965
San Antonio, TX
- Known For:
TEDx Talk on vulnerability
Ellen Alley, Charlie Alley
University of Texas at Austin
About Brené Brown
Brown is the author of six New York Times bestselling books, like Dare to Lead, and was the original host to the Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcasts. Brown is also a research professor at the University of Houston and a visiting professor for the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
Brené Brown was born Cassandra Brené Brown in San Antonio, Texas, on November 18, 1965. Brown grew up in San Antonio, Texas, before moving to New Orleans with her family. She then completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Texas Austin in 1995, one year after marrying her husband. In 1996, Brown completed her Master of Social Work degree, followed by a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Houston in 2002.
After completing her degrees, Brown continued researching as a professor, diving deeper into topics of shame, empathy, and vulnerability. In 2004, she self-published her first book, Women and Shame. Three years later, Penguin picked up Brown’s book and republished it as I Thought It Was Just Me. Brown’s career then catapulted in 2010 with her TEDx Talk on vulnerability, which received more than 50 million views and became one of the top five most-viewed TED Talks.
Brown was born the eldest of four to Charles Arthur Brown and Casandra Deanna Rogers. Brown was raised Catholic even though she was baptized in an Episcopal Church. She has since returned to the Episcopal community. Her family resided in San Antonio, Texas, before eventually moving to New Orleans. From New Orleans, she moved back to Austin to begin her education in social work.
After her popular 2010 TEDx Talk, Brown did a second TED talk, “Listening to Shame,” in 2012. Then, in 2019, Brown became the first researcher to have a lecture featured on Netflix, and in 2022, she launched an HBO Max show based on her book Atlas of the Heart.
Brown delivers lectures on vulnerability, shame, courage, and empathy to companies and private events and makes herself available for select speaking requests on her website.
Brown was also a podcast host for two successful podcasts, Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us. Brown has since paused her podcasting programs, with Dare to Lead ending December 26, 2022, and Unlocking Us ending January 2023. She explains in a final episode that she doesn’t yet have a plan for a future podcast endeavor.
Brown has six bestselling books, all of which have been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2013, Brené Brown was featured on Oprah to share her book Daring Greatly. Brené Brown has also written collaboratively with authors like Tim Ferriss and Tarana Burke. In 2022, the Goodreads Choice Awards selected Atlas of the Heart as the winner for best nonfiction.
Popular published titles include:
- The Gifts of Imperfection (2010)
- Daring Greatly (2012)
- Rising Strong (2015)
- Dare to Lead (2018)
- Braving the Wilderness (2017)
- Atlas of the Heart (2021)
Interviews and TED Talks
Brené Brown is a prolific speaker and presenter. Her 2010 TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability,” which was one of the most-watched talks in the world, was just the start of many. Since then, Brown has been featured in many interviews, podcasts, and special events.
Other notable appearances:
- “Listening to Shame” TED Talk (2012)
- “Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count” (2013)
- Brené Brown: The Call to Courage on Netflix (2019)
- “Tim Ferriss and Brené Brown on Self-Acceptance and Complacency” (2021)
- “Brené Brown: The Secret to Having Compassion” interview with 60 Minutes (2021)
- “Brene Brown on Understanding Your Emotions” on Today (2022)
Brené Brown has won multiple awards for her researched lectures, including the University of Houston’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2009, Houston Woman Magazine named Brown as one of the city’s most influential leaders.
As Brené Brown shares in her book Dare to Lead, “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”
As a researcher on the emotions of empathy, courage, and vulnerability, Brown embodies this philosophy in her leadership and lectures. In her work, Brené Brown advocates for and models leadership that is transparent, bold, and authentic. On her website, Brown says, “The bottom line: I believe that you have to walk through vulnerability to get to courage, therefore . . . embrace the suck. I try to be grateful every day, and my motto right now is “Courage over comfort.”
Family and Personal Life
Brené Brown met Steve Alley in 1987, and they got married in 1994. Today, Dr. Steve Alley is a prominent pediatrician at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
Brown and Dr. Alley had their first child, Ellen, in 1999, followed by their second child, Charlie, in 2005. Ellen Alley is a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin.
Brené Brown has been very open about her sobriety. Brown quit smoking and drinking and attended her first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in May 1996.In May 2019, she shared that she had been sober from alcohol for 23 years. She says, “I was and still am a believer in the adage, ‘If you’re asking yourself if your drinking is problematic, then, at the very least, drinking is probably not serving you.’”
Brené Brown Today
Brené Brown lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Ellen and Charlie. She is active on social media, with millions of followers on Instagram. She is also the CEO of a professional training and certification program called “The Daring Way.”
Brené Brown Quotes
- “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” —Brené Brown, Daring Greatly
- “We fail the minute we let someone else define success for us.” —Brené Brown, Dare to Lead
- “Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” —Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
- “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” —Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me
- “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” —Brené Brown, Dare to Lead
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- “About Brené.” Brené Brown, https://brenebrown.com/about/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- “The Power of Vulnerability | Brené Brown.” YouTube, 3 Jan. 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o.
- “Unlocking Us Archives – Brené Brown.” Brené Brown, 4 Jan. 2023, https://brenebrown.com/podcast-show/unlocking-us/.
- “Dare to Lead Archives – Brené Brown.” Brené Brown, 26 Dec. 2022, https://brenebrown.com/podcast-show/dare-to-lead/.
- “Brene Brown – Age, Bio, Birthday, Family, Net Worth | National Today.” National Today, 18 Nov. 2018, https://nationaltoday.com/birthday/brene-brown/.
- “Brené Brown.” Simon & Schuster, https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Brene-Brown/188002152. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- “Listening to Shame | Brené Brown.” YouTube, 16 Mar. 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0.
- “Watch Brené Brown: The Call to Courage | Netflix Official Site.” Netflix, 2 Feb. 2023, https://www.netflix.com/title/81010166.
- “Speaking.” Brené Brown, https://brenebrown.com/speaking/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- Brown, Brené. “An Update on My Decision to Pause the Podcasts.” Brené Brown, 1 Feb. 2022, https://brenebrown.com/articles/2022/02/01/an-update-on-my-decision-to-pause-the-podcasts/.
- “Brené and Ashley on Living BIG, Part 1 of 2.” Spotify, https://open.spotify.com/episode/6xxwjBa7fRrO6ULFXaTqmE. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- “Daring Greatly: Why Vulnerability Is Your Greatest Strength | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN.” YouTube, 17 Mar. 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi0IEOBDRpQ.
- Brown, Brené. “Announcing the Goodreads Choice Winner in Best Nonfiction!” Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-nonfiction-books-2022. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- Brown, Brené. “Brené Brown | Speaker | TED.” TED Talks, https://www.ted.com/speakers/brene_brown. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- Brown, Brené. “Listening to Shame.” TED Talks, https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- “Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count.” YouTube, 4 Dec. 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-JXOnFOXQk.
- “Tim Ferriss and Brené Brown on Self-Acceptance and Complacency.” YouTube, 10 Feb. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znRLbEcFrRU.
- “Brené Brown: The Secret to Having Compassion.” YouTube, 29 Mar. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCvhOqThYJ4.
- “Brené Brown on Understanding Your Emotions, Making Hard Decisions.” TODAY.Com, https://www.today.com/video/brene-brown-on-understanding-your-emotions-making-hard-decisions-136665157980. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
- Courage, Ordinary. “Brené Brown Ph.D., LMSW.” Psychology Today, 1 Jan. 2023, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/contributors/bren-brown-phd-lmsw.
- Brown, Brené. Amazon.Com: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. (Audible Audio Edition): Brené Brown, Brené Brown, Random House Audio: Audible Books & Originals. 9 Oct. 2018, https://www.amazon.com/Dare-to-Lead-Brene-Brown-audiobook/dp/B07DJYFLX8.
- Johnson, Karen. “Steve Alley, MD, a Pediatrician with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center – Health News Today.” Health News Today, 31 Dec. 2021, https://www.findatopdoc.com/doctor/1043080-Steve-Alley-pediatrician-Houston-TX-77030.
- Alley, Ellen. “Ellen Alley.” LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellen-alley/.
- Barrall, Suzanne. “What Being Sober Has Meant to Me.” Brené Brown, 31 May 2019, https://brenebrown.com/articles/2019/05/31/what-being-sober-has-meant-to-me/.
- Brown, Brene. Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/brenebrown/.
- “The Daring Way.” Brené Brown, https://brenebrown.com/thedaringway/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
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