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James Allen
United States Senator
from Alabama

In office
January 3, 1969 – June 1, 1978
Preceded by J. Lister Hill
Succeeded by Maryon Pittman Allen
17th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama

In office
January 15, 1951 – January 17, 1955
Governor Gordon Persons
Preceded by James C. Inzer
Succeeded by William G. Hardwick
20th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama

In office
January 14, 1963 – January 16, 1967
Governor George Wallace
Preceded by Albert B. Boutwell
Succeeded by Albert Brewer
Member of the Alabama Senate

In office
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives

In office
Personal details
Born James Browning Allen
(1912-12-28)December 28, 1912
Gadsden, Etowah County
Alabama, US
Died June 1, 1978(1978-06-01) (aged 65)
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Resting place Forrest Cemetery in Gadsden, Alabama
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) (1) Marjorie Stephens (her death)

(2) Maryon Pittman

Alma mater University of Alabama

University of Alabama School of Law

Religion Church of Christ
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1943–1946
Unit Reserves

James Browning Allen (December 28, 1912 – June 1, 1978) was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Gadsden, Alabama.

Life and career[edit | edit source]

The Gadsden native attended the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law, both located in Tuscaloosa. At the University of Alabama he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi. He practiced law in Gadsden from 1935 to 1968 and was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 1938 to 1942. He resigned from the state legislature to enter active duty in the United States Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1946. He again ran for office after World War II and was a member of the Alabama Senate from 1946 to 1950. He was the 17th and 20th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama from 1951 to 1955 and again from 1963 to 1967.[1]

In 1968, Allen was elected to succeed the retiring Democratic U.S. Senator J. Lister Hill of Montgomery. Allen won 638,774 (76 percent) to 201,227 (24 percent) for his Republican opponent, Perry O. Hooper, Sr.[2]

Like his Republican Senate colleague, Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Allen was a master of parliamentary procedure. He was considered to have revived the filibuster rule during his nearly nine years as a senator.[3] Allen was known as one of the most conservative Democrats in the chamber, more conservative even than many Republicans at that time. He was an active opponent of the Panama Canal Treaty of 1978. Allen received one vote for the Republican vice-presidential nomination at the 1976 Republican National Convention.[4][5]

Allen served in the Senate until his death of a heart attack on June 1, 1978, at the resort community of Gulf Shores, Alabama. He is interred at Forrest Cemetery in Gadsden. Governor George C. Wallace, under whom Allen served previously as lieutenant governor, appointed Allen's widow, Maryon Pittman Allen, to succeed him in the Senate. However, Mrs. Allen lost the special Democratic primary to fill the remaining two years of her husband's term to Donald W. Stewart of Anniston. Stewart then defeated James D. Martin of Gadsden, who became the nominee after a primary had already been held between George W. Nichols and Elvin McCary, also of Anniston, and a longtime friend of Senator Allen's. For the change in nominees to occur, Nichols, who defeated McCary in the special Republican primary, had to agree to step down from the race.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. James Allen, Lieutenant Governors of Alabama
  2. Billy Hathorn, "A Dozen Years in the Political Wilderness: The Alabama Republican Party, 1966–1978", Gulf Coast Historical Review, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring 1994), p. 30
  3. "Allen's Widow is Named to Senate". June 9, 1978. https://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=FA0B14FE3B5513728DDDA00894DE405B888BF1D3. 
  4. "US Vice President – R Convention". Our Campaigns. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=59886&ShowAllCand=Y. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  5. UPI (August 20, 1976). "...Alabama Delegation". p. 2. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=WxgsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yMgEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1399,3405320&hl=en. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  6. "A Dozen Years in the Political Wilderness", pp. 36-37

External links[edit | edit source]

Political offices
Preceded by
James C. Inzer
Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
January 15, 1951–January 17, 1955
Succeeded by
William G. Hardwick
Preceded by
Albert Boutwell
Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
January 14, 1963–January 16, 1967
Succeeded by
Albert Brewer
United States Senate
Preceded by
J. Lister Hill
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Alabama
January 3, 1969–June 1, 1978
Served alongside: John J. Sparkman
Succeeded by
Maryon Pittman Allen

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