David Owen (Lord Owen) trained and practised as a medical doctor before being elected a Labour MP in his home city of Plymouth. He served as Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan from 1977 until 1979. He co-founded and went on to lead the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and is now a Crossbencher in the Lords. Among many books, he is the author of In Sickness and In Power - Illness in Heads of Government during the last 100 years, The Hubris Syndrome, Balkan Odyssey, a powerful autobiography, Time to Declare, the updated edition of which was published as part of Politico's Great Statesmen Series in August 2009, and a poetry anthology, Seven Ages.
David Owen is the author of a number of books on political
subjects including The Hubris Syndrome (Methuen) and In Sickness and In Power
(Methuen), both in-depth studies of the health of leaders in governments and
the impact of illness on their effectiveness in office. He served as a Labour
Party Member of Parliament for twenty-six years during which time he was Health
Minister (1974–76) under Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary (1976–79) under James Callaghan. He left the Labour Party
when, under Michael Foot’s leadership, it lurched too far to the left. David
Owen was one of the ‘Gang of Four’ to found the Social Democratic Party in
1983, which he led on two separate occasions. In 1992 David Owen was created a
Life Peer and now sits as an independent social democrat in the House of Lords.
Before entering Parliament, Lord Owen trained as a medical doctor at St
Thomas’s Hospital, London, where he was Clinical Neurologist and Psychiatric
Registrar. He has championed the NHS throughout its existence and is now a
powerful advocate for its reinstatement to its original purpose.