Otis R. Bowen
|Otis Ray Bowen, M.D.|
|4th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services|
December 13, 1985 – January 20, 1989
|Preceded by||Margaret Heckler|
|Succeeded by||Louis Wade Sullivan|
|44th Governor of Indiana|
January 9, 1973 – January 13, 1981
|Lieutenant||Robert D. Orr|
|Preceded by||Edgar D. Whitcomb|
|Succeeded by||Robert D. Orr|
|Born||February 26, 1918
Fulton County, Indiana
|Died||May 4, 2013 (aged 95)
|Spouse(s)||Pearl Irene Wright|
Otis R. Bowen, M.D. (February 26, 1918 – May 4, 2013), was the governor of the American state of Indiana from 1973 to 1981. He was the first governor of Indiana to serve two consecutive terms. He was also the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services on the cabinet of President Ronald Reagan.
On Labor Day weekend in September 1973, Governor Bowen declared amnesty for a group of inmates that took hostages and rioted at the Indiana State Prison. Although his decision to give "blanket amnesty" was a controversial one, it proved to be the correct decision as all the hostages, who were not only guards, but also a few select inmates who were otherwise weak and preyed upon, were released without harm. The guards who were subsequently released after a short meeting took place between the leaders of the riot and Governor Bowen in front of b-block....the inmate negotiation took only a few minutes between the governor and a group of inmates led by one Thomas D Brown (ISP#37151) serving 10 years for armed robbery, and was compelling enough to cause Gov. Bowen to declare a successful "blanket amnesty".
The governor's action preceded a "domino effect" of changes made in all aspects of the Indiana Department of Corrections. The changes involved personnel, regulations and conditions within areas of the system, e.g. medical, food, access to media, and disciplinary aspects of every day life.