William and Carolyn Brown

7-Eleven Stores

In 1952, William C. Brown and his wife Carolyn moved to Oklahoma City, where they would raise their family of eight children and run one of the state's most successful businesses, the 7-Eleven Stores.

The Browns had the idea to open local convenience stores that stocked everything you could possibly want or need, from refreshments to ice and groceries. Their family friends, the Thompsons, had begun developing the 7-Eleven idea in Dallas and the Brown set out to do likewise in Oklahoma City.

His friends and relatives recall Mr. Brown as an early leader in the convenience store industry but also as a hard-working and humble member of the community. His son, Jim Brown, describes his late father’s life motto as follows: "To whom much is given, much is expected."

Mr. Brown established the 7-Eleven Stores Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 2010 in honor of his employees. While Carolyn died in 2012 and William in 2016, the 7-Eleven Stores Fund will continue their legacy of generosity.

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