“Work hard. Be true to yourself. Take responsibility.

Have a positive outlook. Expect the best from people.”
-Herbert “Bertie” Bowman


These are the beliefs that Bertie Bowman lives by and the values that have served him well throughout his life and career.

Arriving in the nation's capital in 1944, Bertie Bowman is the longest-serving African-American staff member on Capitol Hill. From sweeping the steps to working in the coffee shop and the Capitol barbershop—Bowman held several jobs in the Senate, ultimately rising to become assistant hearing coordinator for the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, one of the most powerful committees in Congress.

Herbert "Bertie" Bowman was born in the small town of Summerton, South Carolina, in 1931. His precise birth date uncertain, Bowman believes he was born April 12, 1931.

A 12-year-old Bowman met Senator Burnet R. Maybank, while he was campaigning for re-election outside a local store. Maybank addressed the crowd as he was leaving and said “if you’re ever in Washington to come by and see me”. Bowman said, ‘If I come to Washington, D.C., can I come by and see you?’ The Senator replied “yes” and a year later Mr. Bowman left home and went to Washington.
 

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© 2017 AACU Hall of Fame

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