Profile: Maconda Brown O’Connor and Ralph S. O’Connor

Social Worker Houston, Texas

Photo: Getty Images

When George R. Brown died in 1983, he was one of the wealthiest men in Texas. He was also an icon in the state’s business world, having turned a few mules and wagons into Brown & Root, the fourth-largest construction business in the world. But Brown never forgot his poor roots. And Brown impressed the lessons of poverty on his daughters.

In turn, Maconda Brown O’Connor has become a champion for poor children, especially troubled teens. And her political giving has been motivated by the same drives — the determination to make a difference and to help those who need it.

A Houston social worker, O’Connor has been recognized for her work with children and her unflagging support for organizations that seek to help at-risk kids. But she remains a private person, little inclined to use her prominent family name or the influence that comes with her campaign largesse to take a public stand on partisan issues.