W. George Allen
'Florida icon' and 'fearless fighter for civil rights'
Civil rights activist and lawyer W. George Allen was born on March 3, 1936 in Sanford, Florida to Lessie Mae Williams and Fletcher Allen. Allen was raised by his mother and stepfather, Bruce Brown. Allen grew up in a segregated community in Sanford, Florida; attended Midway Elementary and Junior High Schools; and graduated from Crooms High School in 1964. Allen went on to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida where initially, he wanted to be a physician. He however played the role of a lawyer in a school play, which made his career plans change. In 1958, he earned his B.S. degree in political science and minored in economics. Then, in 1962, Allen earned his J.D. degree from the University of Florida Law School. He was the first African American to do so.
Remembering W. George Allen, UF’s first African American graduate
Allen is a member of several organizations, boards and associations including the Urban League of Broward County, the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the University of Florida Foundation, the Florida Bar Association, and serving as Broward County Bar Association’s president. Allen has also received numerous awards for his achievements including the University of Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award in May, 2000 and the National Conference for Community and Justice Silver Medallion Award in 2001. In July of 2003, he was inducted into the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. In February of 2005, Allen was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees.