Ex-Indiana Governor, HHS Head Otis Bowen Dies at 95

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Former U.S. Health and Human Service Secretary Otis R. Bowen has died. He was 95.

Bowen helped promote safe sex practices in the early years of the AIDS crisis as the top federal health official under President Ronald Reagan. He also served two terms as Indiana's governor, overhauling the state's tax system.

Gov. Mike Pence said Bowen died Saturday. Pence didn't disclose the cause of death.

Before his rise to become a wildly popular Republican governor from 1973-1981 in Indiana, Bowen was a small-town doctor.

Bowen became secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in 1985, taking charge of the federal government's response to the spread of AIDS after the Reagan administration had been criticized by activists for a slow initial response.

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