Lionel Bowen

Lionel Bowen  (1922 – 2012)  deputy prime minister 
Lionel Bowen was from right-wing NSW Labor Catholic stock.  His daughter Ann said: “He was very well respected and liked by political friend and foe”. Mr Bowen grew up poor as the only child of a single mother, leaving school at 14 to help pay the bills. This hardship, along with his Catholic faith, gave him a strong belief in social justice and equality.

Bowen was from right-wing NSW Labor Catholic stock. His daughter Ann said: “He was very well respected and liked by political friend and foe”.

He rose from poor family circumstances in Sydney to become deputy opposition leader to Bill Hayden and deputy prime minister to Bob Hawke.

But high office seemed to leave him unchanged: he continued living in the same modest house in Kensington, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, that he had first rented, then bought, and in which he and wife Claire raised eight children.

The deputy prime minister was spotted once patiently waiting in a long queue at a Sydney bank in pre-ATM days, largely unrecognised.

Not that Bowen was without ambition to reach the top. He ran for the leadership twice – first against Whitlam after Labor’s landslide loss in 1975 and then against Hayden after Whitlam resigned following the 1977 election. On the second occasion he came close, losing 36-28.

His appeal to colleagues and voters was as a traditional, down-to-earth Labor person.

Julia Gillard yesterday described Bowen as a legend of Australian politics who had served with distinction for 42 years across three levels of government. “Lionel Bowen was a good Labor man who was passionate for the cause of social justice, and who was renowned for his integrity, honesty and fairness,” she said.
Source : http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=30820

Mr Bowen grew up poor as the only child of a single mother, leaving school at 14 to help pay the bills while taking night classes and eventually becoming a lawyer. This hardship, along with his Catholic faith, gave him a strong belief in social justice and equality
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/death-of-labor-elder-bowen-who-remained-an-everyday-bloke-20120401-1w6lb.html

also

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/legend-of-labor-never-lost-the-touch/story-fn59niix-1226315953893

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Bowen

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