Walter G(regory) Bowerman (16 November 1893 –  November 1974) was an American actuary and gerontology researcher. Walter Gregory Bowerman was born in New York City. His parents, Judah Philip Bowerman and Mary A., were from Canada (sources: 1900, 1910 censuses). By 1910, the family had moved to Charleston, West Virginia (source: 1910 census). Walter achieved his M.A. degree in 1915 (source: Quarterly Review: A Journal of University Perspectives, 1947). Walter married Evelyn Haynor at age 29 (source: 1930 census). They resided in Bergen County, New Jersey and had a son, John, age 2 in 1930 (source: 1930 census).

Walter Bowerman grew up at a time when the media in particular looked to "experts" to answer questions about society. Walter's actuarial background allowed him to apply his actuarial skills to a myriad of topics, with his multiple focal points being issues of health (cancer, suicide, alcoholism, longevity), general societal trends (crime, genius, noted Americans), and economics.

Walter G. Bowerman is perhaps best known for his book, "Studies in Genius", which focused on the actuarial aspects of what a typical "genius" is like (a male, age 5'10", etc.), rather than the mental aspects.

In 1939, he wrote an article on centenarians in Transactions of the Actuarial Society of America that accepted seven claims of lifespans of 110 years or more as validated, all of whom except Pierre Joubert (where Bowerman relied upon the Tache study since discredited by Charbonneau) are still considered validated or likely valid. Bowerman validated the claim of Delina Filkins to be 113 and advocated that actuarial tables have an upper cutoff of between 115 and 120 years. He also invalidated the claim of Zaro Agha to be 157, instead concluding that the man was only 97.

In the 1940s, Walter worked for New York Life Insurance Company (source: Time Magazine, 1947).

According to the SSDI listing, Walter died in New York City in November, 1974 (source: SSDI).

Walter Bowerman is buried in New Britain cemetery, Columbia County, NY, with his wife, Evelyn (source: Find-A-Grave).

Selected works

  • "Contribution of Dividends" (1930)
  • "Centenarians" (1939)
  • "The Cities of the United States" (1945)
  • "Alcohol, Tobacco, and Longevity" (1946)
  • "Suicides" (1946)
  • "The 100 Most Eminent Americans" (1946)
  • "Notes on Human Mortality" (1947)
  • "Studies in Genius" (1947)
  • "Studies in Crime" (1947)
  • "Cancer, No. 2 Killer" (1948)
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