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Thomas Brewer was born on November 16, 1894 in Saco, Alabama. He graduated from high school and college in Selma and received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. In the 1920s, he joined a black medical community in Georgia and also became a political activist. In 1939, he helped to form a chapter of the NAACP in Columbus. During the 1940s, Brewer started to receive death threats from hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.