Brooks graduated from Harvard College in 1964 with a B.A. in Germanic Languages and Literature. He then received his masters in 1968 from the Middlebury College Graduate Language Program, specializing in German language and Literature. He attended Boston University fro two years of coursework toward a Ph.D. in literature of the Reformation. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1958-61.
Brooks worked at independent secondary schools in Massachusetts from 1964-1992. During that time, he taught English, German (Dept. Head), Physics, and Greek Mythology. He was the assistant Director of Admissions, Director of Financial Aid, and enjoyed coaching 3 sports.
Brooks is an avid volunteer. He volunteered at Maclay School from 1992-1996, where he advised 10th graders on college preparation and choices, evaluated and advised on curriculum for K-12 grades and chaired successful fundraising campaigns to build a new library and a high school complex. At the FSU School of Theatre, he has been the Chair of Major Gifts Committee and the Patrons Association. He is a founding member of the Community Foundation of North Florida (2001-2010). During that time he was president, vice president, on the Executive Committee, and the Investment Committee. He was a board member and fundraiser for the Boys Choir of Tallahassee. He and his wife, Almena, were selected as Philanthropists of the Year in 2009. Currently, he consults occasionally and informally with local non-profits regarding annual giving and capital campaigns.
He is a member of the FSU President's Club, member of the Westcott Society, and a Seminole Boosters contributor. His interests include American and Civil War History, the World War II Institute, literature, and classical music.