Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90
Washington Post ^ | 04/02/2010 | By Wil Haygood

Posted on 04/02/2010 12:53:08 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd

Eugene Allen, who endured a harsh and segregated upbringing in his native Virginia and went on to work for eight presidents as a White House butler, died March 31 of renal failure at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. He was 90.

Mr. Allen and his wife, Helene, were profiled in a Washington Post story in 2008 that explored the history of blacks in the White House. The couple were excited about the possibility of Barack Obama's historic election and their opportunity to vote for him. Helene, however, died on the eve of the election, and Mr. Allen went to vote alone. The couple had been married for 65 years.

Afterward, Mr. Allen, who had been living quietly in a simple house off Georgia Avenue NW in the District, experienced a fame that he had only witnessed beforehand. He received a VIP invitation to Obama's swearing-in, where a Marine guard escorted him to his seat. Eyes watering, he watched the first black man take the oath of office of the presidency.

Mr. Allen was besieged with invitations to appear on national TV shows. There were book offers and dozens of speaking requests, all of which he declined. He also received hundreds of letters, some from as far away as Switzerland, from people amazed at the arc of his life and imploring him to hold on while thanking him for his service to the nation. People in his neighborhood would stop him and explain to their children the outlines of his life.

"He liked to think of himself as just a humble butler," his only child, Charles, said Thursday. Aside from his son, Mr. Allen is survived by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: eugeneallen; obituary
I've read his story previously. Very inspiring.
1 posted on 04/02/2010 12:53:08 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Barack Obama's historic election

I still say that anybody who makes this statement is racist.

2 posted on 04/02/2010 12:54:32 PM PDT by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for, it matters who takes office.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Racist little article, isn’t it ?

Voting for color - as one in every 2 people seemed to do two years ago, is racist as hell. His guarded walk to the inauguration and his vote are both because of skin color.

Pay no attention to the article. A butler for 8 presidents and he is STILL not smart enough to vote based on merits.


3 posted on 04/02/2010 12:56:45 PM PDT by Celerity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Barack Obama's historic election

gallery_2_3_83815.gif picture by aa7ya

4 posted on 04/02/2010 12:57:49 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper ("Ked Tennedy would have been plowed... I mean, proud today..." - Senator Max Baucus (Drunk-MT))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AmishDude

Agreed. And why is it that whenever the media does one of those “human interest” pieces on an elderly black person, the first thing they always ask him about is how excited he must feel about the “historic” election of Barack Obama?


5 posted on 04/02/2010 12:58:15 PM PDT by conimbricenses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Tears in his eyes at being used as a political symbol? Didn’t he notice that all of those Jim Crow politicians who governed during his years under segregation were Democrats? ALL of them?


6 posted on 04/02/2010 12:58:25 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Sounds like a classy and respectful man for not selling his stories about the presidents even though he could have likely used the cash.


7 posted on 04/02/2010 12:59:42 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan...

Who am I missing?

8 posted on 04/02/2010 1:00:40 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

“Democrats? ALL of them?”

Nom not all of them as there were Southern Republicans who opposed the Civil Rights Acts.


9 posted on 04/02/2010 1:01:13 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz

Not sure why you think he could use the cash. I’m sure he had a nice salary, benefits, bonuses, etc.


10 posted on 04/02/2010 1:03:25 PM PDT by presently no screen name ( Repeal ZEROcare!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz

I suppose “all” is a bit sweeping. But there weren’t a whole lot of Republican politicians in office down South until the Dems switched over to the other side.


11 posted on 04/02/2010 1:07:26 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

Everyone needs cash.


12 posted on 04/02/2010 1:07:53 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

There were a few Republicans in the South and they did not support civil rights.


13 posted on 04/02/2010 1:09:18 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz

Thats not to say he did not keep journals. Hopefully he did.


14 posted on 04/02/2010 1:10:30 PM PDT by annieokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

God bless his soul.


15 posted on 04/02/2010 1:15:04 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz

OK. Name one Southern Republican Senator that opposed the Civil Rights legislation. I will make this easy for you. There weren’t any. Period. There not even any Southern Republican political office holders at the time. From Virginia to Texas, it was all Dems all the time.


16 posted on 04/02/2010 1:15:04 PM PDT by Pamlico (Oppose 0bama at every opportunity)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pamlico

John Tower-Texas.


17 posted on 04/02/2010 1:33:37 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

RIP.


18 posted on 04/02/2010 1:35:23 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz
I want to see names.

I grew up in the segregated South, and a couple of parents in our elementary school were pointed out because they VOTED Republican. Straight ticket.

I cannot remember a single Republican congressman in the Deep South from the late 1950s through the Civil Rights Act. Admittedly I don't know every politician in the South, but I'm pretty sure there were none in Georgia or Alabama. About the only thing I can think of is maybe a lone Pubbie in Atlanta or Charleston . . . maybe . . . but I doubt it and I'm sure I would have heard about it, because my parents marched at Selma.

19 posted on 04/02/2010 1:41:01 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz
Tower ran in 1961 and was the first Republican senator elected in Texas since Reconstruction.

But he was the ONLY Republican anywhere in the South in his first term. So your statement 'there were a few Republicans in the South' is inaccurate. There was one. And he wasn't from the Deep South.

20 posted on 04/02/2010 1:45:57 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: conimbricenses

Of course, Obama isn’t a person. He’s a demographic.


21 posted on 04/02/2010 1:50:29 PM PDT by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for, it matters who takes office.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz

Greed! ;)


22 posted on 04/02/2010 2:05:26 PM PDT by presently no screen name ( Repeal ZEROcare!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
Actually, for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 there were ten GOP congressmen from the South and they all voted against the bill. And, Sen. John Tower voted against the 1964 act.
23 posted on 04/02/2010 2:18:59 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Pamlico

“There weren’t any. Period. There not even any Southern Republican political office holders at the time. From Virginia to Texas, it was all Dems all the time.”

Are you sure about that?


24 posted on 04/02/2010 2:35:43 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: trumandogz

Georgia didn’t have a Republican congressman until Bo Callaway in 1966. He later ran for governor in a 3 way race and won a plurality, but not a majority, so the election went to the GA legislature, which appointed Lester Maddox (which actually didn’t turn out too badly, considering). It seems there were a few Repubs scattered around (ten out of HOW many?) but I imagine they were mostly in metro areas and border states. The Republican Party was completely non-viable in most of the south until Reagan.


25 posted on 04/02/2010 3:06:48 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: EGPWS

Truman.


26 posted on 04/02/2010 3:19:47 PM PDT by EveningStar (Karl Marx is not one of our Founding Fathers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
The blurb about First Lady Nancy Reagan was touching. Seems Nancy invited The Allen's to attend a sit-down State dinner..

"She said, 'You and Helene are coming to the state dinner as guests of President Reagan and myself,' " he recounted in the Post interview. Mr. Allen thought he was the first butler to receive an invitation to a state dinner. He and Helene -- she was a beautiful dresser -- looked resplendent that night. The butlers on duty seemed to pay special attention to the couple as they poured champagne for guests -- champagne that Mr. Allen himself had stacked in the kitchen.

We used to have a lot of class in our White House..sigh.

sw

27 posted on 04/02/2010 3:23:54 PM PDT by spectre ( Spectre's wife)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

Thanks, I thought it stated he started with Eisenhower.


28 posted on 04/02/2010 3:26:21 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

The point is that Civil Rights and desegregation was primarily a regional issue and not a party issue as almost all Democrats and all Republicans in the South were opposed to Civil Rights and desegregation while Democrats and Republicans from other regions supported Civil Rights and desegregation.


29 posted on 04/03/2010 10:58:05 AM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson