Long-time professor of advertising Lawrence Bowen remembered as academic, best friend

Lawrence-BowenLawrence Bowen, who passed away on March 5, will be remembered as a renowned professor of advertising, but also as a husband, father, soldier, and best friend.

Born in Philadelphia in 1928, he joined the Air Force when he was 30 years old where he started taking college courses and accumulating university credits. He attended Pennsylvania State University after leaving the Air Force in 1966, majoring in psychology and journalism.

In 1968 he began graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, where he received a Ph.D. in mass communication. From 1971 to 1973, Bowen was a faculty member at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb before beginning his nearly 30-year career with the UW Department of Communication.

“He was a man who dedicated his life’s work to sharing his knowledge and skills with young people,” said Keith Stamm, an emeritus professor at the UW Department of Communication and close friend of Bowen for more than 40 years. “Young people sought out his advertising classes at the University and he helped so many of them begin productive and rewarding careers. Those students became the backbone of the advertising profession in the Northwest, and the profession is stronger as a result.”

Throughout his teaching career, Bowen acquired professional experience at major advertising agencies, including Leo Burnett in Chicago and multiple agencies in Seattle. He published significant research on advertising and served as an expert witness in lawsuits involving advertising issues.

Bowen was a teacher dedicated to the success of his students, a loyal and generous friend, a dedicated and skilled steelhead fisherman, and a down-to-earth academic who never lost sight of the things important to daily life.

“It seemed that when you became a friend of Larry’s you were a friend for life. That’s just the way he was. He never let go of a good friend. And we never wanted to let go of him,” Stamm said. “I feel blessed to have been his friend and blessed to share the experiences we had.”

Bowen’s dedicated personality stemmed from his family life. He and his wife, Pearl, were married for 59 years and have three sons: Daniel, David, and Tim.

Bowen is featured on the Faculty/Staff Legacy page here >>