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.
On February 18, 1956, Brewer was shot and killed seven times outside of his office by Lucio Flowers.
Lucio Flowers owned a store beneath Brewer’s office and said that he shot Brewer in self-defense after a disagreement. Police and a grand jury accepted Flowers’s story. About a year after Brewer’s death, Flowers was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head. His death was officially ruled as suicide.