Resume | Extensive Biography | Trivia

Jan 3 1953 Birth of James Brass in Newark, NJ.
Between ~1971-1978 Joins the Marine Corps, possibly drafted during the Vietnam War
Obtains a BA in History from Seton Hall University
(not necessarily in that order)
~1978 Joins the Police Forces in New Jersey, either in Vice or in Homicide
~1978-1993 Cleans up the police department by turning in a number of dirty cops from Vice, including Mike O'Toole. During this time, goes through the ranks of Detective to Lieutenant.
~1993 Leaves New Jersey and goes to Vegas. Shortly thereafter, becomes Captain and runs the Criminalistics Department.
2000 Is sent back to run the Homicide Department, instead of being promoted to Undersheriff.
Sep 2006 Receives a medal of valor for his bravery.

Extensive Biography

[SP] = contains extensive spoilers for certain episodes or plot lines.
~ = approximate date.
"btw" = event placed at an unknown moment within a given time period.
Jan 3 1953 Birth of James Brass in Newark, NJ, in a middle-class family. [CSI videogame profile] [a previous CBS press release puts Brass' birth year at 1951]
~1966 Is marked by the injustice during the riots in Newark, that influence him to choose a career in law inforcement. [CSI videogame profile; however, there is no way that Brass was in college at this time, as suggested by the videogame profile]
btw 1971-1978 Possibly drafted to serve in Southeast Asia [suggested in CSI, 6x02 Room Service ] [the last draft lottery for Vietnam was in 1972]
Served in the US military with the Marine Corps [CSI, 6x10 Still Life ]
Obtained a BA in History from Seton Hall University, NJ [CSI videogame profile]
btw 1971-1982 Marries Nancy Brass. The date of the marriage is entirely open to speculation. [CSI, 5x20 Hollywood Brass]
~1978 Started working in the field, probably as a rookie in the Newark police department, apparently working his way up to becoming a detective in Vice... [CSI, 1x01 Pilot] [conflicting information is given in 7x01 Built to Kill, which would place the beginning of Brass's police work in 1983; another conflicting source is the video game, which places Brass's career in the police as starting in 1973 already]
~1979 ... or possibly in Homicide. [CSI, 1x02 Cool Change] [It's unclear whether Brass started out in Vice or in Homicide, as conflicting evidence exist for either. It's possible that the dates were reorganised/changed by the writing staff later on]
btw 1979-1993 Attempts to clean up the Vice department of all the dirty cops. Shows so much zeal and stubbornness in doing this that his relationship with his wife Nancy, and later with his daughter Ellie, suffers greatly. [CSI, 5x20 Hollywood Brass, CSI videogame profile]
~1982 Annie Kramer starts working in the same police department as Brass, also in Vice. At some point during her time in New Jersey, she and Brass have an affair. [CSI, 5x20 Hollywood Brass]
Sep 24 1982 Birth of Ellie Rebecca Brass in Essex County, NJ. She isn't Brass's biological daughter, her biological father is Mike O'Toole, a dirty cop who also worked in Vice. [CSI, 2x10 Ellie, 5x20 Hollywood Brass]
~1990 Annie Kramer is transferred to the Los Angeles Police Department [CSI, 5x20 Hollywood Brass]
~1993 Nancy divorces Brass because of his affair with Annie. Brass turns in Mike O'Toole and his "crew" to the authorities and gets transferred to Las Vegas. [CSI videogame profile, CSI, 5x20 Hollywood Brass] [it is also plausible that Brass divorced and left New Jersey in 1990, at the same time as Annie]
btw 1993-2000 Shoots the passenger of a car he was chasing in a felony pursuit. He could have been forced to retire, but was promoted Captain instead, under the condition that he accepts a desk job, heading the Criminalistics unit. [CSI, 4x02 All For Our Country]
~2000 Gets a patrol car to pick up Ellie at a Prom. [suggested in CSI 5x20, Hollywood Brass]
2000 [SP] Is expecting a promotion to Undersheriff ("Deputy Chief", an alternate name for the same job). Lets a CSI rookie, Holly Gribbs, go on the field and expects Warrick to keep an eye on her. Warrick fails to do so, resulting in Holly Gribbs' death. Brass is transferred back to Homicide, which he heads. [CSI 1x01, Pilot, 1x02 Cool Change]
~Dec 2001 [SP] Ellie turns up in Las Vegas, running a fake chip scam and muling for drugs with her boyfriend, then becoming the prime suspect for a muder. Brass bails her out. He is then knocked out while trying to visit her at her boyfriend's, and wakes up to find the boyfriend was shot with his gun. Warrick elucidates the mystery, and also notices that Brass isn't Ellie's biological father - Brass says she doesn't know. Ellie leaves Vegas, telling Brass that it's much too late for them to have a good relationship. [CSI, 2x10 Ellie]
~Apr 2005 [SP] Ellie calls Brass from LA when her best friend Dakota disappears. He goes to LA, and tries to investigate the situation with Annie Kramer who has been promoted Captain of the Vice unit. Brass finds out that his daughter is a crack addict and a prostitute. He discovers some disturbing evidence involving the actor Vic Patterson, and leaves Annie to decide what to do with it. He also tells her that Ellie isn't his biological daughter. [CSI, 5x20 Hollywood Brass]
btw 2005-2006 Gives Grissom power of attorney, because he believes that Ellie wouldn't care if he was sick or injured. [CSI, 6x24 Way To Go]
~Nov 2005 [SP] Participates in a huge drug-related shootout which involves the death of several suspects and a police officer, Officer Bell, which leads to an inside investigation of the PD by Detective Ortega. It is later revealed that Brass shot him accidentally. The shooting is processed by the review board, and Brass is cleared. [CSI 6x07, 6x08 A Bullet Runs Through It Pts 1&2, 6x09 Dog Eat Dog]
May 11 2006 [SP] Goes in as a negociator during a hostage situation. He spends several hours waiting with Willie Cutler and the woman he took hostage, until he finds out that they were waiting to find a dead man - he's been played. He takes a bullet to the deltoid, which travels through his chest and lodges near his heart. After a heavy operation, he pulls through. Ellie, called up by Grissom, comes to visit him, but runs away before he wakes up. [CSI 6x23 Bang Bang, 6x24 Way To Go]
Sep 2006 Receives the Medal of Valor for his acts of bravery during the kidnapping. He views the medal as a poster for the stupidest thing he's ever done, because he let Willie Cutler play him. [CSI 7x01 Built to Kill]


  • His personal life, when he was administrator of CSI, was apparently made up of strip bars and J&B doubles [CSI videogame profile]
  • Carries a cigarette lighter, but is never seen smoking [1x13 Boom]
  • Still doesn't like touching dead bodies after many years' work with criminalistics [1x18 $35K O.B.O.]
  • Worked in a slaughterhouse one summer. [2x05 Scuba Doobie Doo]
  • Was in Honduras and saw a "lluvia de pesces", the raining of fish. [3x10 High and Low]
  • Had a problem with alcohol when he was in Jersey, between troubles at work and in his marriage. [4x15, Early Rollout]
  • Has two known tattoos: a blue snowflake on his right shoulder [seen in 6x24 Way To Go, 7x01 Built To Kill] and the date "May 11 2006" (the date of the shooting) under the scar where the bullet entered his chest, on the right edge of his pectoral, nearly under his arm [seen in 7x01 Built to Kill].
  • more to come soon...
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