Battle of the Brains was created in 1975. Julian Porter, a social studies teacher at Meadowbrook High School in Chesterfield County, was seeking a fundraising project for the History Club, which he sponsored. The original games featured an academic contest between the faculty and the students. Hosted by Al Moffitt, a local television personality at WWBT-TV 12, Battle of the Brains became an instant hit with the Meadowbrook students. The faculty just barely won over the students in head-to-head competitions. The format was expanded to games involving the other high schools in Chesterfield.
In 1978, the championship match was televised on WCVE-TV 23. In 1979, the competition was expanded to schools throughout central Virginia, and in 1991 a written test was initiated as a prerequisite for tournament qualification. For several years the show aired on public television. Now it can be seen on CBS 6 (Central Virginia) on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. Needless to say, there have been many changes in Battle of the Brains since its early days at Meadowbrook High School.
Seven people have hosted the competition in Central Virginia: Ken Curtis, Frank Soden, Bill King, Garrett Chester, May-Lilly Lee, Michelle Gary and, currently, Cheryl Miller. David Nelson and Stephanie Harris have hosted in Southeast Virginia. Throughout its long history, Julian Porter has continued to be involved with the program as a judge, promoter, co-producer and biggest fan.