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Samuel Washington Allen

Samuel Washington Allen Obituary
Allen Samuel Washington Allen, poet, professor, and lawyer was born December 9, 1917 in Columbus, Ohio. He was the son of Bishop Alexander Joseph Allen of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Jewett Margaret Allen. Samuel Allen died peacefully on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Norwood, Massachusetts surrounded by his beloved daughter, Dr. Catherine Allen, Tucson, AZ; a loyal niece, Leslie Allen, New York City; and a long-time, devoted companion, Helen Cummings, Milton, MA. He was predeceased by his three brothers Alexander Joseph Allen, George Wesley Allen and Griffin Marion Allen. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. Samuel Allen graduated first in his class from Fisk University, Nashville, TN with a degree in Sociology in 1938. While at Fisk, he also studied poetry with James Weldon Johnson. He continued his education at Harvard Law School, where he received his law degree in 1941. He was drafted in the U. S. Army in 1942 and served in the Adjutant General's Corps until 1946. He then pursued graduate studies at The New School for Social Research in NY City during 1946-48 and subsequently studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, France during 1949-50 on a G.I. bill. Samuel Allen lived in Europe, primarily in France, for seven years, and was invited by Richard Wright to publish several poems in the journal Presence Africaine. After the war, his varied career included work as deputy assistant district attorney in the government of New York City, 1946-47; civilian attorney 1951-55; private practice as an attorney 1956-58; professor of law, Texas Southern University 1958-60; assistant general counsel in the U. S. Information Agency 1961-64; chief counsel, Community Relations Service, Washington D. C. 1965-68; professor of humanities, Tuskegee Institute 1968-70; and professor of English, Boston University 1971-81. Samuel Allen, was well known as a poet who published many works under the pen name, Paul Vesey. His 19 works included Elfenbein Zahne in 1956; Ivory Tusks and Other Poems in 1968; Paul Vesey's Ledger in 1975, and Every Round and Other Poems in 1987. A family celebration of life funeral service for Samuel Washington Allen will be held Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 9 a.m. in the Huntington Chapel, Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Samuel Washington Allen's name to Fisk University, class of 1938. For detailed information regarding giving to Fisk University, please contact the Samuel Washington Allen Memorial at (617) 294-9889 or by emailing [email protected] A Memorial Service will be held in the late summer or fall in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate his life with a host of family, friends and colleagues.


Published in The Columbus Dispatch on July 8, 2015
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