as well as the changing perspectives on race in political arenas. Known as having been a modest man, Allen is the subject of the 2013 film The Butler. He died in 2010 in Washington, D.C.QUOTES
Allen met his future wife, Helene, at a 1942 D.C. birthday party; she tracked down the shy bachelor's number and gave him a call. They wed the next year and would go on to have a son, Charles.
Worked With Eight U.S. President
Allen, who went by the nickname Gene, was held in the highest regard by many and was noted to have an unassuming, humble spirit, bestowing his colleagues with excellent service and becoming quietly entwined in history's notable moments. He was invited to President John F. Kennedy's funeral after his assassination, but even while deeply mourning chose instead to remain at the White House to serve attendees as they came in from the services.
In the course of his work, Allen met famous people like civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and composer Duke Ellington, flew to Europe with President Richard Nixon and traveled with President Jimmy Carter to Camp David. He and President Gerald Ford shared the same birthday, and Allen was celebrated at the official festivities as well.
Allen was promoted to maître d' during the Reagan Administration, and one year first lady Nancy Reagan invited him to attend as a guest a state dinner for West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Allen retired in 1986.
Seeing Obama Sworn In
Though he received many requests to become a public figure via speaking engagements or book deals, Allen declined and remained private.