Bennie Pearl Brown was born April 4, 1925 in Peachtree, Alabama to the union of Benny Portis and Mamie Williams, who preceded her in death. Bennie Pearl attended elementary school in Fulton, Alabama. She left high school before finishing to marry Fletcher Wright. When they separated, she moved to Georgia.
After 1947, Bennie Pearl relocated to Chicago where her sisters Rosa Nell Rutledge and Aquilla Pinkston resided, both of whom preceded her in death. There she met M.T. Walton and together they had a child, Reece Rene (Wright) Bell. In 1951, she married Edward McClaurin, with whom she had two children, Irma Pearl and Edward, Jr., the latter who recently passed. In 1959, she and Wilbur Brice Perkins together had a child, Rory McClaurin. She finished her high school degree in 1969, while working as a cashier. She later worked at the Chicago Lung Association alongside her sister Rosa Nell until the 1980s. Bennie was married for a time to Clarence Wilson.