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Otis R. Bowen
Born February 26, 1918, near Leiter's Ford, Indiana, Dr. Otis R. Bowen received his elementary and high school education from Fulton County schools. He earned his A.B. and M.D. degrees from Indiana University.
In 1939, he married Elizabeth "Beth" Ann Steinmann. After completing his internship at South Bend Memorial Hospital, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, later advancing to captain during World War II.
Following the war he set up a family medical practice in Bremen, Indiana. He was elected coroner of Marshall County in 1952.
Dr. Bowen served as a Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives for 14 years before being elected Indiana's 42 governor in 1972. He was reelected for a second term in 1976 by a record margin and became the first Indiana governor to serve eight consecutive years. In 1981, just a few days before the end of his term as governor, his wife Beth died after a long illness.
Following his governship, Dr. Bowen became head of a family practice at the Indiana University Medical School. He married Rose Hochstetler in September of 1981. In 1985, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 93 to 2 as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in President Reagan's cabinet. The first medical doctor ever to be appointed to this position, Dr. Bowen headed the department until the end of Reagan's administration in January, 1989. He then retired to his five acres just east of Bremen, Indiana. Dr. Bowen died May 4, 2013 at age 95.