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.


What's going to happen next as the headlines grow crazier and more disconcerting by the day. But we do know the job of an independent, unrelenting press is more important than ever—and the ongoing commitment of MoJo readers to fight for a democracy where facts matter and all can participate is absolutely vital.

If you feel the urgency deep in your bones like we do, please consider signing up as a monthly donor during our fall pledge drive to support Mother Jones' fair and fearless reporting for the long haul (or make a one-time gift if that works better for you). The headlines may fade, but the need to investigate the powerful never will.