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Edward Joseph Brou, Sr.

Biloxi native, Edward Joseph Brou, had a true love of the water from his birth in 1921. His grandfather, Philip Bellman, who owned and operated Ocean Springs Fish and Oyster Company in the early 1900’s, lay the foundation for Edward’s love of the seafood industry in his earliest years.

As a young man, Edward was a competitive amateur swimmer and, in 1936, set a record at the Southern AAU Swim Meet by swimming the mile in 25 minutes/59 seconds. He attained the rank of Captain in the US Army as he served in WWII. At the end of the war, he returned to his passion, the waters of the Gulf Coast, when he became owner/partner of the family business, Bel-Bru Marine of Biloxi, along with Eddie Bellman. The business provided boat sales and service, fishing gear and equipment to the many fishermen of the Gulf Coast. As a certified scuba diver, Edward scraped barnacles and made repairs underwater on many of the coastal vessels. After Hurricane Camille, he was hired as a diver to retrieve heavy steel equipment that had submerged during the storm.

Not only a well-respected businessman, Edward was also an avid angler and shrimper. Many summer evenings, following a long day’s work, he would set out trawling on his custom-made shrimp boat. If his luck was in, he would bring in a few hundred pounds- enough for his large family and many friends. While the task was strenuous, Edward enjoyed the activity and pursued it as a hobby.

A very generous man, Edward Brou supported local schools and non-profit organizations with both donations and physical help. He was well liked by the community and dedicated his life to serving the seafood industry and community until his passing at the age of 82. For these many years of service, he is now honored as tradesman in the Maritime & Seafood Industry’s Heritage Hall of Fame.


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