Dr. Otis R. Bowen papers, 1903-2008

Bowen, Otis R.


53.0 cubic feet (53 boxes and 3 map cabinet drawers).
Arranged in the following series and subseries: Series 1: Indiana University Medical School Papers, 1907-1967. Subseries 1.1: Class Notes, 1936-1941. Subseries 1.2: Cancer Survey, 1950-1954. Subseries 1.3: Correspondence, 1950-1955. Subseries 1.4: Reports, publications, and programs, 1907-1967. Series 2: State Representative Records, 1950-1971. Series 3: Gubernatorial Records, 1972-1985. Subseries 3.1: Gubernatorial Correspondence, 1973-1981. Subseries 3.2: Publications and Newspaper Clippings, 1972-1985. Subseries 3.3: Speeches, 1973-1983. Subseries 3.4: Writings, 1973-1979. Subseries 3.5: Capitol Commentary, 1973-1980. Subseries 3.6: News Releases, 1972-1980. Subseries 3.7: Opinion Research Studies, 1972-1979. Subseries 3.8: Governor's Daily Schedules, 1969-1981. Subseries 3.9: Gubernatorial Binders, 1972-1983. Subseries 3.10: Memoranda and Correspondence with Lee Ellen Ford Ph.D., J.D., 1972-1975. Series 4: Indiana University Professorship, 1981-1985. Series 5: Issue Files, 1981-1985. Series 6: Secretary of Health and Human Services Records, 1985-1989. Subseries 6.1: Correspondence, 1985-1989. Subseries 6.2: Speeches and Publications, 1982-1990. Subseries 6.3: Publications, 1985-1989. Subseries 6.4: Writings, 1986-1988. Subseries 6.5: Policy Council Binders, 1986-1988. Subseries 6.6: Meetings and Presentations, 1986-1989. Series 7: Catastrophic Health Care Reform, 1985-1990. Series 8: Health Issues Subject Files, 1985-1991. Series 9: Presidential Transition Binders, 1988. Series 10: Post-Secretary of Health and Human Services Papers, 1990-2003. Series 11: Personal and Family Papers, 1965-2004. Series 12: Publications and Newspaper Clippings, 1903-2008. Series 13: Legal-Sized Documents, 1973-1990. Series 14: Special Correspondence, 1981-2008. Series 15: Artifacts, 1954-2000. Series 16: Oversized Newspapers and Cartoons, 1973-1987. Series 17: Audiovisual Materials, 1972-2003. Subseries 17.1: VHS Tapes, 1979-2003. Subseries 17.2: Audio Cassette Tapes, 1975-1988. Subseries 17.3: Microcassette Tapes, 1977-1999. Series 18: Photographs, 1950-2008. Series 19: Banners, 1970-1976. Series 20: Framed Artifacts and Photographs, 1949-1999. Series 21: Themed Photograph Albums, 1974-1987. Series 22: Scrapbooks, 1967-1981. Series 23: Bound Periodicals, 1973-1977. Series 24: Oversized Materials, 1977-2004. Series 25: Restricted Materials, 1946-2000. Series 26: Historical Publications, 1961-1987.
The collection consists of personal papers, photographs, audiovisual records, and artifacts ranging from 1903 to 2008 documenting the life and professional career Dr. Otis R. Bowen. Included are papers related to Dr. Otis R. Bowen's tenure as an Indiana state legislator, Governor of Indiana, professor of medicine, and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bowen's papers contain extensive documentation of the many issues that dominated his time as governor of Indiana and Secretary of Health and Human Services. The records include correspondence with constituents and prominent government officials, newspaper clippings, briefings, policy reports, speeches, and other writings on a variety of state, national, and international issues. The papers also include photographs, campaign memorabilia, and videotapes. Subjects covered in the papers are of state, national and global importance. From his time as governor, topics of importance include medical malpractice law, state tax reform, transportation policy, and emergency medical services. In the records of his time as Secretary of Health and Human Services, the two subjects that dominate his papers are catastrophic health care reform and the AIDS epidemic. Many other health issues are also covered in his papers, including alcohol and drug abuse, fetal tissue research, abortion, elderly care, medical liability, medical malpractice, and health care reform.
Otis R. Bowen was born near Rochester, Indiana, on February 26, 1918, to Vernie and Pearl Bowen. He attended high school in Francesville, Indiana, and later went on to receive his A.B. (1939) and M.D. (1942) from Indiana University. Bowen also holds 25 honorary degrees from schools such as Bethel College, Valparaiso University, and the University of Notre Dame. After interning at South Bend Memorial Hospital, he served in the medical corps of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, from 1943 to 1946. He was with the first wave of Allied troops to land on Okinawa in 1945. Upon returning from the war, Bowen established a family medical practice in Bremen, Indiana, and continued to practice medicine until 1972. However, it is said that as governor and secretary he always had a prescription pad handy, recommending remedies for voters, colleagues, and members of the press. Growing up during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, Bowen felt that people were becoming too dependent on the government, and he joined the Republican Party in 1940. He began his political career in 1952 with his election as Marshall County coroner. Bowen served multiple terms as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1956 to 1957 and 1960 to 1972. He served as minority leader, vice chairman for the Legislative Council, and most notably, Speaker of the House through four legislative sessions (1967, 1969, 1971, and 1972). In 1968, Bowen sought the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana, but he was defeated by Edgar Whitcomb. In 1972 he ran again, was elected, and served two terms from 1973 to 1981. He was the first governor of Indiana to serve two consecutive terms since 1851. His major accomplishments as governor included a major restructuring of the tax system to reduce the reliance on property taxes, major improvements to state park facilities, development of a statewide emergency medical services system, and adoption of a medical malpractice law that became the model for legislation for many other states. During 1978-79, Bowen was also Chairman of the National Governors' Conference, Republican Governors' Conference, and the Midwestern Governors' Conference. After leaving the governor's office, Bowen accepted a position as clinical professor of family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He also served as chairman of the Advisory Commission on Social Security from 1982 through 1984. In 1985, President Ronald W. Reagan nominated Bowen for the position of Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 93 to 2, making him the first medical doctor to serve in this position. He served as secretary until 1989. During this time he oversaw the development of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 and was deeply involved in AIDS education and research. Bowen also focused attention such issues as elderly care, family planning, fetal tissue research, cancer and arthritis education and research, and drug abuse treatment as well as medical liability and defensive medicine. In his personal life, Otis R. Bowen is a family man. He wed Elizabeth Ann Steinmann in 1939, and they had four children--Judy, Robert, Richard, and Tim. They were married 42 years, until Beth Bowen's death from cancer on January 1, 1981. In September 1981, he married childhood friend Rose Mary Hochstetler Bowen. Sadly, Rose Bowen also died of cancer in January 1992. Bowen married Carol Lynn Flosenzier Mikesell, a former patient and Bremen native, in 1993. Following his term as Secretary, he retired to his home in Bremen, Indiana. In his retirement, he has spent his time traveling with his family and gardening. Throughout the 1990s, he also continued to serve as a member of several community and statewide organizations. His autobiography, Doc: Memories from a Life in Public Service, was published in 2000.
Processing information: Processed by Sarah Haynes, Joseph Brugos, and Jennifer Wyatt. Collection processing completed 2008/12/01 by Joseph Brugos. Finding aid created 2009/07/09 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid completed 2009/12/14 by Maren L. Read. An addition to the collection was processed on 2014/06/11 by Kasey Mock. EAD finding aid revised 2014/07/25 by Brandon Pieczko. An addition to the collection was processed on 2015/02/09 by Kasey Mock. EAD finding aid revised 2014/02/13 by Emily Rapoza.
This collection is open for research. Separated materials are restricted. Contact the repository for more information.
Dr. Otis R. Bowen papers, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.
Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.
Electronic finding aid available on the Internet: http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/123456789/196670.
No further additions are expected.

Related Resources

Electronic finding aid available on the Internet: http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/123456789/196670
View this description in WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/886387129