Plymouth, , England
|| July 02, 1938
|Last Modifed||Dr. Cynic|
Nov 15, 2011 12:27pm
Welsh - Married -
|Info||Born David Anthony Llewellyn Owen. |
Owen is a medical doctor, first serving as an MP for Labour, he later split away from the party to become one of the "Gang of Four" who formed the SDP after splitting from Labour over the election of Michael Foot as leader.
Owen lost the initial leadership election of the party to Roy Jenkins but later became party leader after Jenkins stepped aside, sharing SDP-Liberal Alliance leadership with David Steel of the Liberal Party. The two men had difficulty getting along as Owen charted a more moderate course than Steel who was advocating more leftist policies. The 1987 election was a disaster for the Alliance and many members advocated a merger of the SDP and Liberals into a new party. Owen, fiercely protective of the SDP's independence fought it tooth and nail and in the end formed a new, smaller SDP which lasted until the disasterous Bootle by-election where the SDP candidate finished behind the Monster Raving Looney Party. Owen announced the end of the party and served his remaining term as an independent.
Always strong-willed and stubbon, Owen has long developed a contrarian, somewhat quixotic, even sometimes an arrogant image. Owen resigned from positions repeatedly in his career when he felt they betrayed his own convictions, even imploding his own SDP. Such outbursts of stubborness and occassionally percieved arrogance gained him the nickname "Dr. Death".
Owen is married to Deborah Owen, an American literary agent.
MP for Plymouth Sutton 1966-1974
MP for Plymouth Devonport 1974-1992
Foreign Secretary 1977-1979
Social Democratic Party Leader 1983-1987
Granted life peerage as Baron Owen of the City of Plymouth in 1992.