Brent was born in Great Falls, Montana, and graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in mathematics. After serving two years with the Peace Corps in India, he returned to Montana to obtain his J.D. degree from the University of Montana.
Brent has served in the Montana House of Representatives and the Montana Senate, completing his last term as Senator in 2006. He was president of the State Bar of Montana during 1998-99. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Riverstone Health, Chairman of the Yellowstone County Solid Waste Disposal Board, and active in Kiwanis.
Brent's primary claim to fame is being the only Montana attorney who is also a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. In July, 2001 Brent returned to India with one of his sons and was awarded a Distinguished Service Award by the Old Students Association in the village where he had taught, in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Brent's wife, Dorothea, is a Professor of Music (piano) at MSU Billings. They have two sons, the oldest who is Director of Development at Zappos.com, Las Vegas, and the other an instructor in English at Kennedy-King City College, Chicago, where he is also pursuing publication of his first nove. Brent's youngest is Taya Rose who is doing post-doctoral research at U.C.L.A. Brent's hobbies are being the Dog Whisperer to his two dogs, running, computing, humorous public speaking, and magic.