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Clinton makes timely L.A. visit to kin of his late Cabinet secretary

Bill ClintonJimmy Kimmel Live! (tv program)

Chip Brown, the owner of a downtown Los Angeles cupcake shop, said he was reading a tribute to his late brother, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, when former President Bill Clinton pulled up outside the business Thursday.

It was the 18th anniversary of his brother’s death in a plane crash in Croatia on a trade mission. Clinton, as it happened, was stopping across the street at Baco Mercat for lunch with actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.

Brown walked across South Main Street, greeted Clinton and reminded him it was the anniversary of the crash. He suggested that Clinton drop by for a cupcake after lunch.

“And he did,” Brown said. “It was an amazing visit.”

The former president was in town for a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” appearance and a Clinton Global Initiative forum at City Hall with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Clinton’s vegan diet forced him to pass on the Big Man Bakes cupcakes served at the shop Brown opened five years ago with former Microsoft executive Claudine Grier.

But Clinton, Danson, Steenburgen and their entourage bought a batch for the road.

“It was kind of a bittersweet day for our family,” Brown said. “It wound up being a joyous day for a change.”

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michael.finnegan@latimes.com

Twitter: @finneganlatimes

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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