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September 22, 2004

Raymond Cobb Bowen

There are a lot of reasons that I am proud of my family, but I've got to admit, it sounds like a whole new level when other people are saying nice things. He has now been included into the HistoryMakers site. We continue to be proud of this man, who just turned The Big 70! Like Pops, Unk defies his age. I don't know where they got that picture because most of the time, he's looking dead at you and you know it. In fact, I really don't like that picture and I'm going to replace it as soon as I find a better one.

Scientist turned college administrator Raymond Cobb Bowen was born September 19, 1934 in New Haven, Connecticut. Growing up in the Elm Haven public housing projects, Bowen's parents, Raymond Curtis Bowen and Lucille Cobb Bowen, were frustrated in their attempts to gain a higher education and wanted more for their son. He attended Baldwin and Winchester elementary schools and graduated from James Hillhouse High School in 1952. He earned a B.A. in zoology in 1956 from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. in biology from the University of New Mexico in 1962 and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in parasitology and biochemistry in 1966. From 1956 to 1959, Bowen served in the United States Army.

What the HistoryMakers folks probably don't know but I'll tell you, is that Unk is a tremendously competitive man. He studied martial arts and has a pretty sharp mind for real estate. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy with a that classic Bowen laugh, but is the last guy you want to cross. I still have yet to study enough at the feet of this master of administration and bureacratic politics but I assure you that in a manner of speaking, Putin has got nothing on Unk. Look at those dates and those positions and you suddenly understand how much he was a pioneer and the highest ranking black anything a lot of people ever saw. He can wheel and deal like nobody's business, which made him loved and feared from what I could tell at my distance. Unk's quite a prankster too. I like that very much about him.

Like most leaders, Unk can read people like a book. I'm glad he's been patient with me and I know that he's helped me break through the Gordian Knots of life, whereas if I only had Pops' influence, I'd be contemplating forever. Unk is one of three or four people in the universe who may be able to barbecue better than I, and I can't wait to get out to the next reunion on the East Coast next summer. Wait 'til you see what his kids are up to.

Posted by mbowen at September 22, 2004 10:10 AM

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Wow! What an impressive man your uncle is.

Posted by: Juliette at September 22, 2004 08:43 PM