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'Florida Icon' and FAMU grad W. George Allen dies at 83

Posted at 4:05 PM, Nov 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-08 16:05:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — W. George Allen, a iconic civil rights attorney who graduated from Florida A&M University and went on to become the first black student to earn a law degree from the University of Florida, has died at 83.

His family shared the news on Thursday.

According to The History Makers Archives, George was born in Sanford and graduated from Crooms High School in 1954. He got his undergraduate degree from FAMU where he earned his B.S. degree in political science and minored in economics.

He served as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps for the U.S. Army before going on to become the first African American to earn his J.D. from the University of Florida Law School in 1962.

In 1963, Allen and his family moved to Fort Lauderdale after he passed the bar exam and was admitted to the Florida Bar Association. Allen started his own law practice where he practiced for nearly 50 years.

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) called Allen a "civil rights champion and an awe-inspiring man who was a true pillar of our community."

“George leaves behind a principled legacy of service to our country, the civil rights movement, and South Florida," said Hastings. "I know his loss will be felt in Broward County for years to come and his contributions ingrained in history. I offer my deepest condolences to his children, Jonathan, Timothy, Frederick, and Amy Carole and the entire Allen family during this heartbreaking time. May he rest in peace.”