December 26, 2006 U.S. Congressman Major Owens Named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at John W. Kluge Center

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has named Congressman Major R. Owens (D-NY) as a distinguished visiting scholar in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Owens will begin his residency at the Library after his retirement from Congress in January and will be working on a case study of the Congressional Black Caucus and its impact on national politics.

Born in Collierville, Tenn., Owens earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s of library science from Atlanta University and honorary doctorates from Atlanta University and Gallaudet University. Owens began his career as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. He 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.

Owens has been a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, which guides all federal involvement in education, job training, labor law, employee safety and pensions, programs for the aging and people with disabilities and equal employment opportunities. He also served on the Committee on Government Reform and was ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee for Workforce Protections, chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Education and Civil Rights, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Haiti and a member of the Progressive Caucus of the House of Representatives. He was also one of the original sponsors and one of the strongest proponents of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information on fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit


PR 06-237
ISSN 0731-3527