In Memoriam: Major Robert Odell Owens, 1936-2013

Major_OwensFormer Congressman from New York, Major R. Owens, died earlier this week at New York University Langone Medical Center from renal and heart failure. He was 77 years old.

Congressmen Owens was a major supporter and advocate for African American higher education during his 12 terms in the House of Representatives. After retiring from Congress in 2006, he taught public administration at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. He was the author of The Peacock Elite: A Case Study of the Congressional Black Caucus (Grant House Publishers, 2011).

Major Owens was a native of Collierville, Tennessee. He was a 1956 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and went on to earn a master of library science degree at what is now Clark Atlanta University. He worked as a librarian in New York for several years and later was the commissioner of the NYC Community Development Agency. Before being elected to Congress in 1982, Owens served in the New York State Senate from 1975 to 1982.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Recruited for Federal Student Pathway Program for Careers in Public Service

The Pathway Public Service Program was established in 2019 to develop the next generation of diverse, qualified, and motivated public health servants. Over the past five years, the program has hired over 100 student interns.

Five Black Scholars Selected for New Faculty Positions

The five Black scholars who aer taking on new roles are Khadene Harris at Rice University in Houston, Nakia Melecio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bettina Drake at Washington University in St. Louis, Arlette Ngoubene Atioky at Goucher College in Maryland, and Kandi Hill-Clarke at the University of Memphis.

Getty Images to Preserve Digital Photo Archives at Delaware State University

Currently, Delaware State University's photo archives contain thousands of photographs taken over the course of the university's 133 year history. Thanks to a new partnership with Getty Images, those images will be digitized and made available on

Porché Spence Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Diversity in Ecology

Dr. Spence currently serves as an assistant professor of environmental studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Throughout her career, she has developed several educational programs geared towards introducing students of color to environmental science fields.

Featured Jobs