Born New Orleans, Louisiana, she lived in the city of her birth with her husband after concluding her formal education at Sophie Newcomb College, where she majored in Greek, and at the University of Minnesota where she received her M.A. in Greek. Several of her books were dedicated to her husband W. Burlie Brown, who was a history professor at Tulane University. The couple had two children. In addition to writing, she worked as a teacher and a welfare visitor in Louisiana. In 1959, she was nominated for the Hugo Award for best new author, but her career was cut short when she died of lymphoma at the age of 41 in 1967. The fourth Nebula Award Anthology contains an obituary written by Daniel F. Galouye, and Anne McCaffrey dedicated her 1970 anthology Alchemy & Academe to Brown, along with several other people. Brown and McCaffrey had met at a Milford Writer's Workshop.