Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Pays Tribute Richard ‘Kirk’ Bowden, a Deputy U.S. Marshal Who Protected King

February 8, 2018
Press Release
Memphis native attended Douglass High School, LeMoyne-Owen

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) noted the passing of Memphis native Richard K. “Kirk” Bowden, a retired U.S. Marshal who protected Civil Rights figures in the 1960s, and made the following statement:

“I was saddened to learn of the passing of former Deputy U.S. Marshal Richard ‘Kirk’ Bowden who, as a deputy U.S. marshal, was one of a small group who protected James Meredith when he travelled off campus after integrating the University of Mississippi in 1962. Bowden later guarded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1963 March on Washington.

“Mr. Bowden died January 20 at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was 82.

“Mr. Bowden was a graduate of Douglass High School in Memphis and attended what is now LeMoyne-Owen College before joining the U.S. Air Force criminal investigations division from 1954 to 1958. He served as a narcotics officer with the Washington, D.C. Police Department before joining the Marshals Service, from which he retired in 1987. He later returned on contract until 2017.

“I met Mr. Bowden several times through the years at Douglass alumni events and appreciated his professionalism and commitment to the Douglass Red Devils.

“I wish to pay my respects to Mr. Bowden and thank his family for his long and dedicated service to his community, his country and Douglass High.”