Appointment: Distinguished Visiting Scholar, 2007
Area of study: U.S. Politics, U.S. History
Affiliation(s): U.S. House of Representatives, 1983-2007; New York State Senate, 1974-1982.
Kluge Center project: History of the Congressional Black Caucus
Residency: January 2007 – April 2008
Hon. Major R. Owens served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-2007, elected to represent New York’s 11th Congressional District. He was appointed an unpaid distinguished visiting scholar at The John W. Kluge Center for 2007, upon his retirement from Congress.
Owens researched and wrote his book “The Peacock Elite, A Case Study of the Congressional Black Caucus” while in residence at the Kluge Center. The book traces the history of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and offers a blueprint for the caucus’s future. Owens was a member of the CBC and was chairman of the CBC Task Force on Haiti.
Owens was elected to the New York state senate in 1974 and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 from New York’s 11th Congressional District. He was a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Committee on Government Reform and was ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee for Workforce Protections. He was one of the original sponsors of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Owens began his career as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. He received his master’s of library science from Atlanta University.
- U.S. Congressman Major Owens Named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at John W. Kluge Center (December 26, 2006)
- Congressman Major Owens and Distinguished Panel To Discuss "A New Challenge to Black Congressional Caucus" (September 20, 2007)
- African American History Month Profile (africanamericanhistorymonth.gov)