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Richard Owen Edit Profile

Composer , judge , lawyer

Richard Owen, American federal judge. Bar: New York 1950. Decorated Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air medal with 3 oak leaf clusters.


Owen, Richard was born on December 11, 1922 in New York City. Son of Carl Maynard and Shirley (Barnes) Owen.


AB, Dartmouth College, 1947. Bachelor of Laws, Harvard University, 1950. Doctor of Music (honorary), Manhattan School Music, 1989.


He served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945, and then received an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1945. He received an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1950, and entered private practice in New York City from 1950 to 1953. He was also an assistant professor at New York Law School from 1951 to 1953.

In 1953, Owen became an assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, also serving as a special assistant U.S. attorney general in 1954. He was a senior trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1955-58. On November 15, 1973, Owen was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Edward C. McLean.

Owen was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 13, 1973, and received his commission on December 19, 1973. He assumed senior status on September 30, 1989. From 1960 until his death, Owen was married to Wisconsin-born Lynn Rasmussen, an opera singer.

He died on November 20, 2015. Owen was also a composer, and "dabbled in music all his life". He studied piano as a child and again once he finished law school.

He studied composition with Vittorio Giannini and Robert Starer. Five of his art songs were published by the General Music Publishing Company between 1962 and 1973. They are known for their declamation and dramatic qualities.

Operas and other musical works Rain (opera) 2003 Dismissed With Prejudice, opera, mid-1950s, presented under the auspices of the New York City Bar Association A Moment of War, one-act opera, 1958 A Fisherman Called Peter, sacred concert piece/opera, 1965 Mary Dyer, opera, 1976 The Death of the Virgin, opera, libretto by Michael Whitney Straight, 1980/1983 Abigail Adams, opera, 1987 American Stereopticon, orchestral piece, 1988, Tom Sawyer, opera, 1989.


  • Bar: New York 1950.



Trustee Manhattan School Music, New York City. Founder, board directors Maine Opera Association, 1975-1985. President, board directors New York Lyric Opera Company First lieutenant United States Army Air Force,1942-1945.

Member American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Century Association, Chelsea Yacht Club.


Married Lynn Rasmussen, June 6, 1960. Children: Carl R., David R., Richard.

Carl Maynard Owen

Shirley (Barnes) Owen

Lynn Rasmussen

Carl R. Owen

David R. Owen

Richard Owen