Former Rep. Major Owens dies at 77

October 22, 2013

Former congressman Major Owens (D-N.Y.) has died, according to the Associated Press.

Owens, 77, retired from Congress in 2006 after 12 terms and was succeeded by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).

From the Associated Press:

Chris Owens says his father died Monday at NYU Langone Medical Center of renal failure and heart failure.

Owens, who was from Brooklyn, served in the U.S. House from 1983 to 2007. In Congress, he helped pass the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

He began his political career in the 1960s working on anti-poverty programs in the administration of New York City Mayor John Lindsay. He was elected to the state Senate in 1974.

After leaving Congress, Owens taught in the Department of Public Administration at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College.

Owens’ survivors include his wife, Maria; five children; and eight grandchildren.

Update 12:41 p.m.: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has released the following statement: “Today, our country mourns the loss of a devoted public servant who dedicated his life to lifting up the voices of those who too often go unheard. From the classroom to the halls of Congress, Congressman Owens taught all of us what it means to serve with strength, compassion, and commitment to the public good."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · October 22, 2013