sam_brown.jpgSamuel S. Brown, the first black mayor to serve in Broward County, died Saturday after complaining of chest pains. He was 87.

Brown, who was born in Jamaica, studied theology before later moving to New York, where he worked as a graphic artist and taught special education.

He was first elected by popular vote in Lauderdale Lakes in 1998, and served until 2008, when he decided not to run, according to published reports.

On Saturday, Brown was transported to Florida Medical Center, where he passed away. His health reportedly began to deteriorate after his wife died in October 2008.

“We are deeply saddened at Mayor`s Brown`s passing, as he served as both a mentor and friend to myself and for many of the elected officials in Lauderdale Lakes — both current and those who have gone before us,` current Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Barrington Russell Sr. said in a statement. “His legacy speaks to his dedication and commitment to the city and the residents that he served.”

Pictured above is former Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Sam Brown.