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  Bowen, Otis "Doc"
<-  1987-01-01  
NameOtis "Doc" Bowen
Address304 N. Center St.
Bremen, Indiana , United States
Born February 26, 1918
DiedMay 04, 2013 (95 years)
Last ModifedMr. Matt
May 25, 2023 08:59pm
Tags Married - Widowed - Army - Lutheran -
InfoGovernor of Indiana from January 9, 1973 to January 13, 1981

Otis Bowen was born near Richland Center in Fulton county, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University and received his M.D. from Indiana University Medical School. After earning A.B. and M.D. degrees from Indiana University, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, 1943-1946, and was with the first wave of allied troops in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. After discharge, he established a family medical practice at Bremen, Marshall County, which was to last twenty-six years.

For fourteen years Bowen served as a Republican representative in the state legislature, the first ever to serve three consecutive sessions as speaker of the house. Having lost the Republican nomination for governor to Edgar Whitcomb in 1968, Bowen was elected governor in 1972. After passage of the state constitutional amendment in 1972 allowing governors to serve consecutive four-year terms, he became in 1976 the first modern governor to succeed himself. His administration has been marked by a tax restructuring program, reducing property taxes and increasing the sales tax.

After leaving office, Dr. Bowen became professor of medicine and director of undergraduate family practice education at the Indiana University Medical Center. Late in 1985, President Ronald W. Reagan nominated him as Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services. Quickly confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he served in the cabinet until President Reagan left office on January 20, 1989.

Throughout his political career "Doc" Bowen has kept a prescription pad handy, recommending remedies to cure the common cold and sore throat for both colleagues and members of the press. He has also attempted to maintain the quiet, steady patience required of a physician. Bowen currently lives in retirement in Bremen.

Source: Peat, Wilbur D. Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana 1800-1978. Revised, edited and with new entries by Diane Gail Lazarus, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Biographies of the governors by Lana Ruegamer, Indiana Historical Society. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1978. Following update to Governor Bowen's biography was prepared in October 1998 by William Du Bois Jr.



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Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
May 05, 2013 12:00pm Obituary Ex-Indiana Gov. Otis Bowen dies  Article IndyGeorgia 

Importance? 7.00000 Average

Son Robert Bowen 0000-

  12/12/1985 Secretary of Health & Human Services Won 97.89% (+95.79%)
  11/02/1976 IN Governor Won 56.84% (+14.22%)
  11/07/1972 IN Governor Won 56.77% (+14.31%)
  11/03/1970 IN State House 08 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/05/1968 IN State House 08 Won 61.05% (+22.09%)
  06/18/1968 IN Governor - R Convention Lost 23.78% (-33.08%)
  11/08/1966 IN State House 08 Won 59.36% (+18.72%)
  11/03/1964 IN State House - Fulton-Marshall Won 56.56% (+13.12%)
  11/06/1962 IN State House - Marshall Won 52.84% (+5.69%)
  11/08/1960 IN State House - Marshall Won 55.54% (+11.08%)
  11/04/1958 IN State House - Marshall Lost 49.99% (-0.03%)
  11/06/1956 IN State House - Marshall Won 57.69% (+15.38%)
IN Governor - R Primary - May 04, 2004 R Eric I. Miller
IN State House 060 - R Primary - May 05, 1998 R Jerry F. Bales