The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon


Allie B. Latimer

Attorney and social justice activist Allie Latimer was born in the 1930s in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Growing up in Alabama, her mother was a schoolteacher and her father was a builder. She attended the Alabama State Lab High School where she earned her high school diploma in the 1940s.

Latimer attended Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina, for a year and then transferred to Hampton Institute in Virginia where she earned her bachelor’s of science degree. While at Hampton, she was active with the drama club and dance team.Upon graduation Latimer joined the American Friends in Service, which is part of the Quaker International Volunteer Service program and worked at a women’s prison in New Jersey. She later traveled to France with the same group as part of a peace rebuilding mission.

In the 1950s, Latimer attended Howard University Law School where she earned her law degree. She has also received a LL.M degree from Catholic University and M. Div. and D.Min from Howard University School of Divinity. In 1969, she became an Ordained Elder at Northeastern Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.

In 1968, Latimer organized and founded Federally Employed Women, a national organization, which has more than 200 chapters today. After working in private practice for several years, she joined the General Services Administration (GSA) in the early 1970s as an assistant general counsel. In 1976, Latimer left GSA to serve as an assistant general counsel for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1977, she returned to the GSA and made history when she became the first woman and African American to serve as general counsel of a major federal agency. She held that post for ten years until she moved on to serve as Special Counsel for Ethics and Civil Rights at GSA from 1987-1995.

In 1998, Latimer was awarded the prestigious Ollie May Cooper Award for her legal and humanitarian achievements.

Accession Number




Interview Date


Last Name


Maker Category
Middle Name



Alabama State University Laboratory School

Booker T. Washington Junior High School

Barber-Scotia College

Hampton University

Howard University School of Law

Catholic University of America

Howard University School of Divinity

First Name


Birth City, State, Country




Favorite Season




Favorite Vacation Destination

Oman, Switzerland

Favorite Quote

You have to think about yourself because no one wakes up in the morning with you on their mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date


Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City




Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Social activist and government lawyer Allie B. Latimer (1928 - ) is the founder of the Federally Employed Women organization and has served as counsel for various government agencies, including NASA. She became the first woman and African American to serve as general counsel of a major federal agency during her tenure with the General Services Administration.


Federal Reformatory For Women (Alderson, West Virginia)

General Services Administration

Favorite Color



<a href="">Tape: 1 Slating of Allie Latimer</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Allie Latimer's favorites</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Allie Latimer shares details about her mother</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Allie Latimer shares details about her father</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Allie Latimer discusses her ancestry and shares family stories</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Allie Latimer recalls childhood memories</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Allie Latimer talks about her siblings and grandmother</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Allie Latimer talks about her childhood community</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Allie Latimer reflects on her years in elementary school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Allie Latimer discusses her junior high and high school years</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Allie Latimer talks about her college experiences</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Allie Latimer talks about her career aspirations after college</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Allie Latimer shares stories of her volunteer experiences before attending law school</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Allie Latimer talks about attending law school and suing to take the bar exam</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Allie Latimer talks about seeking employment with the federal government</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Allie Latimer discusses forming Federally Employed Women</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Allie Latimer talks about becoming the first black general counsel for a major federal agency</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Allie Latimer talks about confronting racism and sexism in the federal government</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Allie Latimer discusses her involvement in various organizations</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Allie Latimer shares her personal philosophy on various topics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Allie Latimer shares her concerns for the black community and reflects on her life</a>