Major R. Owens, a former librarian who went to Congress from Brooklyn and remained there for 24 years, fighting for more federal aid for education and other liberal causes, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 77.
His death, at NYU Langone Medical Center, was caused by renal and heart failure, his son Chris said. Mr. Owens lived in Brooklyn.
Mr. Owens, as a state senator and a former chief administrator of New York City’s antipoverty program, was a prominent figure in Brooklyn when he won the House seat vacated by the retiring Shirley Chisholm in 1982. Fourteen years earlier, she became the first black woman elected to Congress.