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Biographical Sketch

Robert Adger Bowen was born December 30, 1868 in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of O. A. and Clarissa Adger Bowen. He attended the College of Charleston, the University of Washington and Lee, and Cornell University. Between 1894 and 1916 (approximately) he worked as an editor and translator for D. Appleton Publishers, New York City and also worked free-lance as a writer, poet and editor. From 1917 to 1929 he served as director of the Bureau of Translations and Radical Publications, United States Justice Department. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was formed, replacing the Bureau of Translations, Bowen became a special agent. He was personally acquainted with J. Edgar Hoover and was influential in national anti-communist efforts during the 1920's. In 1929 he retired to Greenville, SC to be near his sister, where he lived until 1972, except for a few years spent in Macon, Georgia during the late 1930's. During his retirement years, he wrote poetry, letters to the editor, had a regular column in The Greenville News, and carried on a wide correspondence.  

Bowen died on May 9, 1972.

Resources: “The First Fast 100 Years of Roger Bowen,” The Greenville News, December 29, 1968, page 1, section 4