Former Congressman Major Owens (D-N.Y.), ADA sponsor, honorary degree recipient, passes away
Former Congressman Major Owens (D-N.Y.), a sponsor and strong supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed away on Monday, October 21. He was 77. Owens is reported to have died of renal failure and heart failure at New York University's Langone Medical Center.
Owens once called Gallaudet the "Home of the Brave." He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by the University at its 125th Commencement in 1994. Owens was recognized by Gallaudet for his work empowering all citizens by passing legislation on issues such as preventing child abuse and domestic violence, assistance to abandoned infants and children with disabilities, and child adoption legislation.
Owens also co-sponsored the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 and worked on the reauthorization of the Education of the Deaf Act of 1992. He participated in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, laying the foundation for him to become one of the nation's most aggressive and passionate advocates for Americans suffering the evils of discrimination.
After his 24-year career in Congress, Owens joined the faculty at Medgar Evers College's School of Business in Brooklyn.
(Read the obituary posted by the National Council on Disability.)