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

Social Worker <br>Houston, Texas

Photo: Getty Images

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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.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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