[Thanks to Scott Gordon at FAIR for bringing this to my attention]
Ex-Utah Rep. Owens Found Dead in Tel Aviv
Former Utah Rep. Wayne Owens Found Dead on Tel Aviv Beach; He Was 65
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Dec. 18th
Wayne Owens, a former Utah congressman and longtime advocate for Middle
East peace, was found dead Wednesday in Israel, according to the State
Department. He was 65.
Owens, a Democrat, served four terms in Congress and helped launch the
Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, a
Washington-based group dedicated to fostering peace in the troubled
His body was found on a beach in Tel Aviv at about 9 p.m. local time
Wednesday, according to Stuart Patt, spokesman for the State
Department's Consular Affairs Bureau. He apparently died of natural
causes, Patt said.
Owens was on business in the region. A spokesman for the family could
not immediately be reached.
"What Wayne Owens did was change people's lives. He did it in so many
ways. He was dedicated to public service," said University of Utah
political science professor Tim Chambless, who interned for Owens in the
spring of 1973 and later worked on his campaign. "He changed my life.
It's a great loss."
In Congress, Owens, a native of Panguitch, Utah, fought to protect more
than 5 million acres of Utah wilderness, sponsored legislation to
compensate those sickened by radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons
tests in Nevada, and used his seat on the House Foreign Affairs
Committee to advocate for peace in the Middle East.
He was first elected in 1972 and served as a member of the House
Judiciary Committee where he voted to impeach President Nixon and was
part of a group of freshman Democrats who forced a vote to end the
He lost a bid for Senate in 1974 to Republican Jake Garn and made an
unsuccessful bid for governor in 1984. In 1986, he regained Utah's 2nd
District seat, which he held until 1992, when he again ran for Senate,
losing to Republican Bob Bennett.
Owens helped launch the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic
Cooperation in 1989 and served as its president, spending much of the
last decade meeting with leaders in the region trying to foster peace
through economic development.
Utah Rep. Jim Matheson said he was "very shocked" to hear of Owens'
death. Matheson, who ran Owens' campaign for governor in 1984, said
Owens served as a political mentor to his whole family.
"I think that's true for a lot of people in public service," Matheson
said. "The first memory I have of a campaign in Utah was when he walked
the state in 1972. He brought a certain energy and enthusiasm to
Starting in 1965, Owens worked as a staffer for Utah Sen. Frank Moss and
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. He was the Rocky Mountain coordinator
for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential bid. He spent six years as a
full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
He is survived by his wife Marlene and five children. Funeral plans have
yet to be announced.
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
“Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give lustre, and many
more people see than weigh.” – Lord Chesterfield
Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the
author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the
author’s employer, nor those of any organization with which the author
may be associated.
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