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January 20, 2016

Charities in Court Battle Over Radio Pioneer's Fortune

A nonprofit headed by the heirs of Himan Brown, the creator of "Dick Tracy" and other popular 1930s and '40s radio dramas, is contesting a will in which Mr. Brown left the bulk of his $100 million estate to a charitable trust under the control of his longtime lawyer, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Brown, who died in June 2010 at age 99, founded the Radio Drama Network in 1984 to promote the art of audio theater. The organization's suit, filed last month but made public Tuesday, contends the radio pioneer planned to give his fortune to the network but that his lawyer, Richard L. Kay, exploited his position and his client's age to induce Mr. Brown in 2004 to leave the money to the newly created Himan Brown Charitable Trust.

Two of Mr. Brown's grandchildren serve on the board of the Radio Drama Network, which is asking a judge to award it the estate's assets. A lawyer for Mr. Kay said Mr. Brown was mentally sharp when he willed his fortune to the trust and that he wanted to separate his fortune from the family in the wake of a bitter legal fight with his son.