Richard “Grizzly” Brown
April 4, 1960-Jan. 2, 2002
Known for his massive stature, as well as the size of his heart, Richard “Grizzly” Brown, also recognized by his Muslim name, Saad Muhammad, of Berkeley left this life Jan. 2. He was 41 years old.
Born to Carolynn and Eugene Brown on April 4, 1960 he was raised in Berkeley and attended Berkeley and Albany schools. Upon leaving high school he pursued a career as a weight lifter and strongman.
For two consecutive years, 1985 and 1986, he competed in the World’s Strongest Man Contest as a representative of the United States. He held a place in the Guinness World Book of Records for the largest biceps – more than 25 inches (cold, not pumped).
After retiring from the sport of strongman in 1987, he secured a position with the Berkeley Unified School District as a campus monitor and later a school safety officer, when he served as a mentor, counselor and father figure to hundreds of students at Berkeley High School.
In 1989 he transferred to Willard Middle School, where he served students and the school community for 11 years.
In 1991, he began his study of Islam and later converted.
In 1994, he met his wife, Jennifer, at Willard Middle School where they were both employed.
In 1997 they joined in marriage at the “Wedding Court” at Willard Middle School.
He was the proud father of three young sons, Timothy, 10, Donnell, 6, and Aadam, 3. Preceded by his father in death, he is survived by his wife, Jennifer, three sons, Timothy, Donnell and Aadam, his mother Carolynn Bell-Brown, his grandparents Eli and Mattie Bell (all of Berkeley), two half brothers, Eugene and Brandon, as well numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues.
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, 2002, at 11:00 a.m. at Willard Middle School, 2425 Stuart St. Berkeley, CA.
This obituary was written by Mr. Brown’s family.