Interview with Robert A. "Bobby" Rowan, February 9, 2005

Collection: Richard B. Russell Library Oral History Documentary Collection

Dublin Core


Russell Library Director Sheryl Vogt interviews Bobby Rowan about his tenure in the Georgia Senate (1963-1974) and as a Public Service Commissioner (1989-1994). Rowan discusses his early life, including schooling, family, church attendance, and conversations at home about the Bible and politics. He recalls his early involvement with the 4-H Club, public speaking, and the Demosthenian Literary Society at the University of Georgia. He reflects on his work as Public Service Commissioner, State Senator, and his service in the Army and National Guard. He also comments on food stamps, including nutritional programs for pregnant women and the Child and Infant Healthcare Act. Rowan reflects on his multiple political campaigns, his political relationships, and his upcoming gubernatorial race. Other topics discussed include women in the General Assembly, his battle with cancer, and PeachCare.

Robert A. "Bobby" Rowan was born in Enigma, Georgia, in 1935. He attended the University of Georgia, studied agriculture, and was elected campus leader. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and then returned home to work as a schoolteacher and farmer. In 1962, Rowan ran a successful campaign for the Georgia Senate. He was the youngest senator at the time. He served as secretary of the Rules Committee. He was also a key figure in sponsoring the Mental Health Bill of Rights and the Special Education Act. In 1974, he made an unsuccessful bid for governor. Rowan was appointed by Governor George Busbee to the Board of Human Resources, where he served for eight years, and then to the Children’s Youth Commission by Governor Joe Frank Harris. In 1989, he ran successfully for public service commissioner, and retired in 1994.








Robert A. Rowan and Sheryl Vogt, “Interview with Robert A. "Bobby" Rowan, February 9, 2005,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed June 8, 2023,