Owen served as British Foreign Secretary from 1977 to 1979. At 38 he was the youngest person in over forty years to hold the post.
In 1981, Owen was one of the "Gang of Four" who left the Labour Party to found the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Owen led the SDP from 1983 to 1987, and the continuing SDP from 1988 to 1990. He sat in the House of Lords as a crossbencher until March 2014, and now sits as an independent social democrat. Owen is widely regarded as one of the key politicians of the 1970s and 1980s.
- Harris, Kenneth 1988. David Owen: personally speaking. Pan Books . ISBN 0-330-30608-1