A veteran Ocean County lawmaker who played important roles in the creation of the state lottery and gambling in Atlantic City has died.

John F. Brown

Family members say John F. Brown died Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but did not disclose the cause of death. He was 84.

The Lakewood native was an all-state basketball player who later became the town’s mayor and held several municipal positions in that Ocean County community. He then served in the Assembly from 1966-1972 and in the state Senate from 1972-1974.

While serving in the Legislature, Brown sponsored legislation that created the state lottery and was an early proponent of casino gambling. After leaving office, he continued to hold various public service positions in the area before retiring to south Florida in 1981.