Former U.S. Rep. Major R. Owens, a champion of disadvantaged students, died last week at the age of 77.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, the New York Democrat served on the education committee and chaired several of its subcommittees during his 24 years in Congress.
He was instrumental in passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and pushed legislation aimed at helping poor and minority students and children with disabilities. He was also a prominent supporter of “opportunity to learn” goals.
A former librarian, Mr. Owens also promoted education research.
A version of this article appeared in the October 30, 2013 edition of Education Week as Congressional Ally of Education Dies