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The Honorable John Allen

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Information about The Honorable John Allen

Profile image of The Honorable John Allen

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Superior Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood or Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Fate has its benefits but doubt gets you an education.

Birthplace

Born:
1/17/1943
Birth Location:
Columbus, Georgia

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Superior Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood or Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Fate has its benefits but doubt gets you an education.

Birthplace

Born:
1/17/1943
Birth Location:
Columbus
See how The Honorable John Allen is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Superior court judge Hon. John Allen was born on January 17, 1943 in Columbus, Georgia to Beatrice and Daniel Allen. Allen distinguished himself in the United States Air Force before becoming a significant jurist serving as a Superior Court Judge in Georgia.

Allen graduated from Tuskegee University in 1966 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. R.O.T.C. designated him a "Distinguished Military Cadet," and he was awarded a commission as a regular officer in the U.S.A.F. As such, Allen gained top secret clearance, piloted an F-4 Phantom Jet-Fighter and taught both academics and flight. He served two tours in Southeast Asia and was decorated repeatedly, earning five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 23 Air Medals and two Air Force Commendation Medals among others. In 1973, Captain Allen was honorably discharged.

Continuing his education, Allen worked towards an M.S. degree at the University of South Florida, but discontinued those studies to pursue a law degree. He received a J.D. from the University of Florida in 1975. Allen maintained a private law practice in Columbus, Georgia and gained extensive civil and criminal trial experience. He worked as a city attorney for Geneva, Georgia and then as a Recorder's Court Judge in Columbus. In 1987, Allen became a State Court Judge and held that position until 1993, when he was appointed to be the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge. He continues to serve the six counties in his jurisdiction.

Allen acts as a mentor to newly appointed or elected State Court Judges, a position for which he was selected by the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia. The Georgia Supreme Court selected him to work on the "Court Futures Vanguard," drafting proposals to prepare Georgia's courts for the future. Allen has also served as a member of the Columbus Airport Commission, the Columbus High School Vocational Education Advisory Board, the Urban League Board of Directors, the Area Ten Special Olympics Advisory Board and the African American Historic Preservation Society, among other civic organizations. He has three children.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Allen's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Allen talks about his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Allen talks about his parents, Beatrice and Daniel Allen
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Allen talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Allen shares his memories of growing up in a housing project in racially segregated Columbus, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Allen documents the transformation of Columbus, Georgia from a textile town
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Allen talks about racial segregation in Columbus, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Allen describes his childhood personality and his gang activity as a youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Allen remembers the sights and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Allen talks about elementary school and riding public buses
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Allen talks about his grade school years and secondhand school supplies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Allen talks about influential teachers during his grade school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Allen talks about his decision to major in engineering at Tuskegee Institute
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Allen talks about realizing his dream of flying at Tuskegee Institute
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Allen describes how his drive to excel was shaped by racism and his mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Allen remembers being paid by the state of Georgia to not integrate the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Allen talks about signing up for the ROTC at Tuskegee Institute
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Allen talks about joining The Civil Rights Movement, recruiting Malcolm X to speak at Tuskegee Institute, and joining the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Allen reflects on his thoughts of Malcolm X
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - John Allen talks about his reluctance to be a leader at Tuskegee Institute before co-founding the Tuskegee Institute Advancement League
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - John Allen describes his summer internship with IBM in New York in 1965
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - John Allen talks about pilot training with the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Tuskegee Institute in 1966
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - John Allen talks about racism in the U.S. Air Force and his service in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Allen talks about serving as a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Allen describes how racism led him to leave the U.S. Air Force despite his outstanding record
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Allen talks about his excellence as a fighter pilot
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Allen describes American racism and hypocrisy in Southeast Asian during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Allen talks about a catch-22 in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Allen recalls his second tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force and the racism he experienced
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Allen reflects on his lack of fear during war missions and how the Vietnam War affected him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Allen talks about his emotional distance from killing people, his accuracy as a fighter pilot, and the pressure to succeed as a black pilot
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Allen details the characteristics of good fighter pilots
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - John Allen reflects on his military service and his decision to study law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - John Allen talks about being admitted to the University of Florida's Levin College of Law
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Allen shares his observations of Thai culture
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Allen talks about working as an instructor pilot and his decision to go to law school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Allen talks about why he refused to work as an airline pilot
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Allen reflects on his law school experience at the University of Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Allen talks about being accepted by others in Columbus, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Allen talks about practicing law in Columbus, Georgia, starting the first integrated law firm in town, and how his military record helped his professional career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Allen describes how he established his reputation as an activist lawyer and his community involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Allen talks about paving his own way as an activist lawyer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Allen shares why he became a judge in Muscogee County, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - John Allen talks about his work as a judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Allen talks about using his position as a judge to improve race relations in Columbus, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Allen talks about controversial decisions he has made as a judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Allen reflects on his judgeship and his hopes to increase his community activism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Allen talks about his mother's popularity with politicians like Marvin Arrington and Gordon Joyner as a talented seamstress
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Allen expresses his appreciation for his mother and sisters' support
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Allen describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Allen describes why the South is susceptible to political manipulation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Allen reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John Allen narrates his photographs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Allen narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Allen narrates his photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Allen narrates his photographs, pt. 3