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Michelle Obama in Chicago: memorial for Valerie Jarrett's dad, Dr. James Bowman

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First Lady Michelle Obama returned to Chicago for the second time in a week on Thursday, to attend the memorial service for Dr. James Bowman, a physician with a global reach, a Kenwood neighbor and the father of White House Senior Advisor and friend Valerie Jarrett.

Mrs. Obama landed Thursday morning for the memorial and was scheduled to fly back to Washington later in the day.

The First Lady made a day trip to Chicago on Monday to attend the funeral mass for Maggie Daley, the wife of former Mayor Richard Daley.

The Bowman family home is a block north of the Obama's Kenwood residence and the families had close ties--through friends and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Bowman died on Sept. 28 at the age of 88. The memorial service for Bowman, professor emeritus in pathology and medicine at the University of Chicago, was at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the university campus.

Dr. Bowman was a specialist in pathology, inherited blood diseases and population genetics. Bowman was the "first tenured African American professor in the University's Biological Sciences Division. He also was a powerful advocate for minority scholars seeking access to academic medical careers," the university said in a statement.

At the time of his death, Dr. Bowman's pioneering work drew wide praise. "The University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medical Center have lost one of their most important and eminent citizens," said Kenneth S. Polonsky, dean of the Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine. "Dr. Bowman had an enormous impact in so many areas -- as a physician, scientist, mentor, leader, role model and inspiration to students and faculty. We are indeed fortunate to have benefitted from his many contributions and from knowing a man of such exemplary integrity."

In addition, the university said, "Bowman, a senior scholar for the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and a member of the committees on genetics and on African and African American Studies at the University, was one of the first to study genetic variation among diverse populations, particularly those of African origin, and the relationship between genetics and minority health. Later in his career, Bowman focused on the ethical, legal and public policy issues raised by human genetics and mandatory screening tests in certain U.S. states."

On Thursday afternoon, the Bowman Society will host "A Night of Remembrance" for Dr. Bowman from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 1, 2011 11:40 AM.

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