William H. Bowen

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William H. Bowen
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Court Information:
Arkansas Supreme Court
Title:   Former justice
Appointed by:   Gov. Mike Beebe
Active:   2010-2010
Preceded by:   Annabelle Clinton Imber
Past post:   Dean, University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law
Personal History
Born:   5/6/1923
Law School:   Arkansas School of Law, 1949
Grad. School:   New York University, 1950
Military service:   U.S. Navy

William "Bill" H. Bowen was a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court by Democratic Governor Mike Beebe to serve out a portion of Annabelle Clinton Imber's term after she retired. Bowen took his seat on January 1, 2010, and stepped down the following week, citing poor health.[1]


Bowen attended the Arkansas School of Law and received his bachelor of laws degree in 1949. He earned his master of laws degree in taxation from New York University in 1950.[2]

Military service

Bowen joined the Naval Air Corps in 1942 and is a veteran of World War II. He retired from the Navy in 1946 and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve, eventually retiring as a lieutenant commander in 1963.[2]


After graduation, Bowen went to work for the U.S. Tax Court and later for the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1954, he joined the law firm Mehaffy, Smith and Williams (now Friday Eldredge & Clark). In 1971, Bowen became the president of the Commercial National Bank and later became its chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Commercial National Bank and First National Bank later merged to create First Commercial, and Bowen continued to serve as chairman and CEO until he retired in 1991. He remained on the Board of Directors of First Commercial until 1998. From 1991 to 1992, Bowen served as chief of staff during Bill Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. In 1995, he became the dean of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law and served there for two years.[2] Five years later, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law was renamed the William H. Bowen School of Law in his honor.[3]

Awards and associations

  • Appointed to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission
  • Appointed to the Arkansas Science & Technology Commission[2]
  • 2008: Inducted into the University of Arkansas' Arkansas Business Hall of Fame
  • 2009:Named one of Arkansas Business "25 Living Legends"[4]

See also

External links


ArkansasArkansas Supreme CourtArkansas Court of AppealsArkansas Circuit CourtsArkansas District CourtsArkansas City CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of ArkansasUnited States District Court for the Western District of ArkansasUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern and Western Districts of ArkansasUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitArkansas countiesArkansas judicial newsArkansas judicial electionsJudicial selection in ArkansasArkansasTemplate.jpg