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Albine Norton Bowron; Wife of Ex-L.A. Mayor

Albine Norton Bowron, the first woman to ever serve as a ranking executive assistant to a mayor of a major American city and who years later married her boss, Los Angeles’ legendary reform mayor Fletcher Bowron, died Tuesday in a Duarte convalescent home.

Her daughter, Phyllis Cooper, said she was “in her 90s.”

In 1938 she joined Bowron’s staff as his $250 per month personal secretary, supervising and preparing the more than 100 letters a day emanating from the mayor’s office. In 1950--three years before he was defeated for reelection by Norris Poulson--she became his executive assistant, the first woman in the country to hold that position.

And 11 years later, in 1961, the widower and widow (his first wife had died early that year and her husband 35 years earlier) were married at the home of Mrs. Norton’s son-in-law, attorney Grant Cooper.

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Bowron, who was elected in a 1938 recall election after pledging that he would clean up the graft and corruption in the administration of Mayor Frank L. Shaw, died in 1968 at age 81.

Mrs. Bowron’s professional accomplishments over the years brought her many honors, including her selection in 1950 as one of 11 (Los Angeles) Times Women of the Year.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Bowron is survived by another daughter, Marjorie McKellar, seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.


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