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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

Publication:
November/December 2000
Volume 31 , Issue 10

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Hugo A. Owens: Dentist, civil rights leader, politician

James T. Rule, DDS, MS/Muriel J. Bebeau, PhD

Pages: 753-763
PMID: 11204004

For 44 years Dr Hugo A. Owens was a distinguished practitioner and community leader in Portsmouth and Chesapeake, Virginia, and also served for a time as president of the National Dental Association. Besides his proclivity for dentistry, he was driven by two other passions: politics and civil rights. In 1970 he was one of the first African Americans ever elected to the Chesapeake City Council. He was reelected for the next term and appointed vice mayor, a position he held for 8 years. His political successes were preceded by his activities as a civil rights leader, which began in 1950 and lasted through the 1960s. In a remarkable series of negotiations and litigations, Dr Owens was the prime mover in the desegregation of the city of Portsmouth. In all three careers, Dr Owens used dentistry as a home base for the expression of his activist philosophy of providing help for others when they were unable to help themselves.

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