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Otis Ray Bowen, M.D.


In office
December 13, 1985 – January 20, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Margaret Heckler
Succeeded by Louis Wade Sullivan

In office
January 9, 1973 – January 13, 1981
Lieutenant Robert D. Orr
Preceded by Edgar D. Whitcomb
Succeeded by Robert D. Orr

Born February 26, 1918 (1918-02-26) (age 91)
Fulton County, Indiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carol Hahn Bowen
Children 4
Alma mater Indiana University
Profession Physician
Religion Lutheran

Dr. Otis Ray Bowen (born February 26, 1918) is a retired U.S. politician and physician. He served as Governor of Indiana from 1973 to 1981 and as Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1985 to 1989.

Contents

Early life

Bowen was born near Rochester, Indiana, to Vernie Bowen and Pearl Irene Wright. His father’s side of the family was deeply religious and originally came from Ohio. Vernie graduated from Valparaiso University and was a teacher for 43 years. Vernie also owned a hardware store in Leiters Ford, was a trustee for Aubbeenaubbee Township, President of the Woodlawn Hospital Board of Trustees, and President of the Leiters Ford Merchants Association. He was a Scottish Rite Freemason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1915, Vernie married Pearl Irene Wright, whose family was also from Ohio and involved with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Otis Bowen is a distant relative of George W. Bush through two brothers who immigrated to New England from Somerset, England. He received his elementary and high school education from local schools and went on to graduate from Indiana University with an A.B. in 1939 and M.D. in 1942. He holds 30 honorary degrees, including one from the University of Notre Dame and another from Baylor University.

He married Elizabeth Anne Steinmann in 1939, who died shortly before his term as Indiana Governor expired in 1981, they had one child together C. Jeffery Bowen in 1966. Following her death, he married Rose May Hochstetler in September 1981. In 1991, Rose died. In 1992, he married his current wife, Carol.

Career

Otis Bowen began his career on an internship from Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana, in 1942. From 1943 to 1946 he served in the Medical Corps of the United States Army, rising from the rank of 1st lieutenant to captain. On his return from World War II, he set up his own medical practice in his home town of Bremen, Indiana, which he discontinued in 1972. During this time, he also was a member of staff for various hospitals in Indiana and served as coroner for Marshall County, Indiana. In 1981 he took up the post of clinical professor of family medicine at Indiana University.

During his medical and teaching career, Dr. Bowen also got into Republican Party politics, serving as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1956 to 1958 and again from 1960 to 1972. He was speaker of the house from 1967 to 1972, Vice Chairman of the legislative council from 1967 to 1968, and Chairman until 1972. After his unsuccessful attempt in 1968, he was elected Governor of Indiana in 1972 and was re-elected for a second term in 1976, making him the first Governor to serve for eight consecutive years in Indiana since 1851. His campaign slogan, featured in huge letters on billboards, was "Otis Bowen. He Hears You". As Governor he initiated a tax restructuring, and developed a state-wide emergency medical services system. From 1978 to 1985, he also served on the board of trustees for Valparaiso University. Simultaneously, Dr. Bowen served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and the Midwestern Governors Association, and the National Governors Association. In 1980, he served as President of the Council of State Governments.

Dr. Bowen continued teaching at Indiana University until he was appointed by President Reagan as Secretary of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the US Senate on a vote of 93 to 2, making him the first medical doctor to serve in this position. It is said that as Secretary he always had a prescription pad handy, recommending remedies to treat minor ailments for both colleagues and members of the press. He served this position until 1989, when he retired to his home in Bremen, Indiana. He is the oldest living former member of President Reagan's Cabinet.

Community involvement

Bowen at a community event in 2007

Dr. Bowen has served on a number of committees and conferences, including the Education Commission of the States, and the President's Commission on Federalism. He was the chairman of the Paperwork Commission, Nursing Study Commission, and Medicare Study Commission. He has also received various awards, including the George F. Hixson award from Kiwanis International. Otis Bowen is a Lutheran and member of the American Medical Association, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Alpha Omega Alpha, Phi Beta Pi, Delta Chi, and Kiwanis.

The Bowen Institute on Political Participation was founded by Ball State University in honor of Dr. Bowen. He attends every year and provides a congratulatory address to the graduates of this two-day seminar.

See also

References

This article contains content from Hierarchypedia article Otis R. Bowen, used here under the GNU Free Documentation License.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Edgar D. Whitcomb
Governor of Indiana
1973–1981
Succeeded by
Robert D. Orr
Preceded by
Margaret Heckler
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
1985–1989
Succeeded by
Louis W. Sullivan
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Simple English

Otis Ray Bowen, M.D.

In office
December 13, 1985 – January 20, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Margaret Heckler
Succeeded by Louis Wade Sullivan

44th Governor of Indiana
In office
January 9, 1973 – January 13, 1981
Lieutenant Robert D. Orr
Preceded by Edgar D. Whitcomb
Succeeded by Robert D. Orr

Born February 26, 1918 (1918-02-26) (age 92)
Fulton County, Indiana
Political party Republican
Spouse Pearl Irene Wright
Children 4
Profession Physician
Religion Lutheran

Otis R. Bowen, M.D. (born February 26, 1918), was the governor of the American state of Indiana from 1973 to 1981. He was the first governor of Indiana to serve two consecutive terms. He was also the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services on the cabinet of President Ronald Reagan.

Bowen was born in a farmhouse in Fulton County, Indiana. He raised his family, practiced medicine, and began his political career while living in Bremen, Indiana, where he still lives today.


On Labor D weekend in Sept. 1973 Then, governor bowen declaired amnesty for all of a group of inmates that took hostages and rioted at the Indiana State Prison, Although his decision to give "blanket amnesty" was a controversial one, it proved to be the correct decision as all the hostages, who were not only guards, but also a few select inmates who were otherwise weak and preyed upon, were released without harm. The guards who were subsequently released after a short meeting took place between the leaders of the riot and Governor Bowen in front of b-block....the inmate negotiation took only a few minutes between the governor and a group of inmates led by one thomas d brown (ISP#37151) serging 10 years for armed robbery, and was compelling enough to cause Gov. Bowen to declare a sucessful "blanket amnesty"......... The governors action preceeded a "domino effect" of changes made in all aspects of the Indiana Department of Corrections. The changes involved personnel, regulations and conditions within areas of the system, eg.. medical, food, access to media, and diciplinary aspects of every day Corrections at the Prison in Michigan City Indaina.


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