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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
Bill Bowen hadn’t intended to become a leader in Ohio state government, but his early involvement in community issues made his destiny obvious, and the citizens of Ohio fortunate.
A native Cincinnatian, Bowen began his professional life in the insurance field, but his desire to make a difference led him to run for office.
He was elected to the Ohio House in 1966 and served as House Minority Whip before being appointed to fill a vacancy in the 9th Senatorial District in 1970. He was elected to that seat later that year, and re-elected five times.
Sen. Bowen’s legacy, however, isn’t reflected in the length of time he spent in the legislature, but in the causes for which he has fought. The civil rights movement shaped and energized him, fixing fairness for all people as his overriding goal.
That aspect of his character led Bowen to many community service positions, most notably as president of the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP, and president and founder of the Black Male Coalition of Greater Cincinnati.
William H. Bowen died on November 17, 2005 at 77.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization