eugene allen obama

In the end, Eugene Allen, a White House butler who lived a life behind the scenes of history, was the subject of wide acclaim. The Historic Stephen Decatur House. The couple had one son, Charles Allen. Eugene Allen was born on a Virginia plantation in 1919 and spent much of his early life working as a waiter at various whites-only establishments in the South. [7], The story had an immediate impact. Eugene Allen, the real-life White House butler that inspired the hit film, "The Butler," was happy to see President Barack Obama elected as the nation's first black president, his son said. He worked as a waiter for many years, in "whites-only resorts and country clubs", including The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, and a club in Washington. [6] He retired in 1986. Public History Fellow. When Allen accepted this position at the White House, he did not expect to witness some of the most pivotal movements of the twentieth century. The central character, "Cecil Gaines", is only loosely based on the real Allen. Eugene Allen served in the White House for 34 years. Bill Hamilton shares personal story of serving half century in the White House. Eugene and Helen Allen were married for 65 wonderful years before Helene passed away on November 3, 2008, on the eve of the 2008 historic election of Barack Obama as U.S. President. Allen observed social changes that would not only transform race relations across the country, but also inside the White House. Eugene Allen attends birthday party for John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy in 1962. Eugene Allen (July 14, 1919 – March 31, 2010) was an American waiter and butler. On January 20, 2009, Allen attended Obama's inauguration with … Several hundred people packed a funeral service Thursday at Greater First Baptist Church on 13th Street NW to celebrate Allen's life and the national narrative he embodied. He said, 'I've got to go back to work.' "[5] He was invited to the funeral, but chose to stay at work to prepare for the reception, because "Someone had to be at the White House to serve everyone after they came from the funeral. "White House butler Eugene Allen's humility recalled at funeral", Washington Post, April 9, 2010. He attended the ceremony with his son, Charles, and Haygood. They met at a birthday party in Washington in 1942, and married a year later in 1943. Allen died of renal failure Wednesday at a … He was 90. Allen died March 31, 2010. Although he lived to see Barack Obama achieve the highest office, as a boy Eugene Allen knew the infamy of segregation. He got a personal invitation to the funeral. The movie is inspired by Eugene Allen, a real White House butler who started in 1952 with Harry Truman when he couldn't use white bathrooms in the South. Longtime White House Butler Served For 34 Years Under 8 Presidents, From Truman to Reagan. Allen’s story came to public attention when an article about him and his wife by journalist Wil Haygood, entitled “A Butler Well Served by This Election” was published by the Washington Post after the 2008 presidential election. But he volunteered … Friday April 2, 2010. Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served presidents from Harry S. Truman through Ronald Reagan, has died. Gene woke and nudged her once, then again. And she’d get supper going afterward...On Monday Helene had a doctor’s appointment. Eugene Allen with Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Charles would go on to fight in the Vietnam War. Wil Haygood, “A Butler Well Served By This Election,” Washington Post. “I woke up and my wife didn’t,” he said later. The couple had been married 65 years. He shuffled around to her side of the bed. He was 90 and lived in Washington. Eugene Allen served eight U.S. presidents during his 34 years working in the White House. Allen watched as President Dwight Eisenhower argued with Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus over the Little Rock School desegregation in 1957.5 Allen noted that when President John F. Kennedy hosted events at the White House, more African American guests attended than ever before.6 When Kennedy was assassinated, Allen stayed behind at the White House to assist in serving those that would be returning to the building after the funeral service.7 Allen stood by President Lyndon B. Johnson as he evaluated how to handle the Vietnam War, helping him to sleep by serving the president milk and Scotch.8 Realizing the professionalism of working at the White House, Allen never uttered a word about the war, even with his son fighting overseas. This article was originally published "[4] Allen never missed a day of work in 34 years.[6]. Over the years Allen rose in his position, becoming the butler to the president. African Americans in the White House Timeline, White House Historical Association. WASHINGTON (AP) — Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served presidents from Harry Truman through Ronald Reagan, died Wednesday in Takoma Park, Md. February 16, 1995. According to his son, "My father came home late on the day that President Kennedy had been shot. Allen was born in 1919 on a plantation farm near Scottsville in central Virginia.1 During his youth, he worked as a waiter at a resort in Virginia and at a country club in Washington, D.C.2 He met his wife Helene at a party in 1942 and they married soon after. [1] He worked as a waiter for many years, in "whites-only resorts and country clubs", including The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, and a club in Washington.[4]. Eugene Allen represented, as journalist Wil Haygood wrote, “ … Then in 1957, his best friend, Eugene Allen, who worked as a White House butler, asked whether he would like a job there. This made him privy to private conversations and debates regarding African American rights. 7. A former White House butler who served 11 presidents has died at 91 after contracting the coronavirus, his granddaughter confirmed to NBC News on Thursday. He served eight presidents of the United States. Wil Haygood, “Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90,” Washington Post. You can learn more here: http://time.com/2219/what-the-butler-really-saw/. Just a couple of miles from the White House, in a rundown neighbourhood off Georgia Avenue, lives a … Eugene Allen’s 2010 obituary He was in the White House kitchen the day JFK was slain. Even though Allen was not searching for new employment, he accepted a job as a pantry man. Allen was particularly affected by the murder of President Kennedy in 1963. November 7, 2008. Eugene Allen experienced crucial moments in American history during his time at the White House. Friday April 2, 2010. Eugene Allen was invited to President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 21, 2009. Eugene Allen at President Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009 as a VIP guest. Allen finally attained the most prestigious rank of butlers serving in the White House, Maître d'hôtel, in 1981, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Eugene Allen represented, as journalist Wil Haygood wrote, “a story from the back pages of history. Allen was the first White House butler ever to be invited as a guest to a state dinner. He nudged Helene again. Eugene Allen's was one of them. A few days after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Washington Post published an article about a black butler who served in the White House for 34 years, under eight presidents, from Truman to Reagan. The movie, “The Butler,” was inspired by Allen’s story. Allen’s life story was published in the Washington Post by journalist Wil Haygood soon after President Obama’s historic election in 2008.17 Allen’s story spread across the country and he received a VIP invitation to President-Elect Obama’s inauguration. Making Connections in the President's Neighborhood, Pulling Back the Curtain on the Executive Mansion, Bethany Nagle Assisting eight presidents, Allen’s top priority was to make the White House a comfortable residence for each chief executive and his family. After Wil Haygood’s article was published in the Washington Post it received national attention. Allen discussed the importance of his job, saying, “It never snowed too deep or rained too hard for you not to go to work every day. They had one child—a son, named Charles.3 Allen first heard about a job opening at the White House in 1952 and decided to meet with Alonzo Fields, who served as White House maître d’.4. Eugene Allen (July 14, 1919 – March 31, 2010)[2] was an American waiter and butler who worked for the US government at the White House for 34 years until he retired as the head butler in 1986. Eugene and Helene both supported Barack Obama, but Helene died the day before Obama won the 2008 presidential election. In 1816, Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr. and his wife Susan moved to the nascent capital city of Washington, D.C. With... First Lady Lou Hoover's invitation to Jessie L. DePriest to a White House tea party in 1929 created a storm of... For more than two centuries, the White House has been the home of American presidents. [8] He and his wife had intended to vote for Barack Obama in 2008, but she died the day before the election, on November 3. Allen was born in Buckingham County, Virginia and raised on Shirland Farm near Scottsville. PHOTOS: President Obama's A-list pals ... And Oprah, my girl, she can act," President Obama … Allen cherished this memento by having it framed and hung in his home.12 Allen and his wife received many photos, letters and Christmas cards throughout the years from both former and current presidents. Born on July 14 1919 at … Eugene Allen (Scottsville, 14 de julho de 1919 — Takoma Park, 31 de março de 2010) [1] foi um garçom e mordomo americano que trabalhou para o governo dos EUA na Casa Branca por 34 anos até se aposentar como mordomo em 1986.. A vida de Allen foi a inspiração para o filme de 2013 The Butler. Kevin Clark / The Washington Post / Getty Images. She’d lean on her cane with one hand, and on him with the other, while walking down to the precinct. He visited former President Eisenhower at his home in Gettysburg after his administration.11 After the assassination of President Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy presented Allen with one of the president’s ties. (The movie was loosely inspired by real-life White House butler Eugene Allen.) He worked for the White House for 34 years until he retired in 1986. He was 90. A figure in the tiniest of print. Wil Haygood, “Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90,” Washington Post. Columbia Pictures bought the film rights to Allen's life story, and he was invited to Obama's inauguration, where he commented, "That's the man...Whew, I'm telling you, it's something to see. Before the election, Helene marveled at the idea of a black man in the Oval Office. New York: Atria Books, 2013. At first, he though nothing of it, recalling, “I wasn’t even looking for a job, I was happy where I was working.” However, after meeting with th… For the president, you changed your appointments.”15, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush mailed a letter of condolence after Allen’s wife Helene passed away on the eve of the election of President Barack Obama.16. He washed dishes, stocked cabinets and shined silverware. He attended the ceremony with his son, Charles, and Haygood. But in the hallway, he fell against the wall and started crying. Clarence Lusane, The Black History of the White House (San Francisco: Open Media Series, 2011, 270. Allen received a VIP invitation to Obama’s inauguration with a Marine guard escort. [9], Allen died of kidney failure at the Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland on March 31, 2010.[2]. Eugene Allen is pictured to the right of this image at a reception hosted by President Kennedy for PT Boat Veterans in 1962. What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies? When Allen retired in 1986, he had served the White House as a pantry man, butler, and maître d’.14 During his retirement, first families remained in contact with Allen and his family. First Lady Betty Ford and President Ford often included Allen in the birthday celebrations. "[4], Allen and other workers who served presidents were featured in a 32-minute documentary, Workers at the White House, directed by Marjorie Hunt and released on a 2009 DVD, White House Workers: Traditions and Memories by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.[10]. Allen came to public attention when a 2008 article about him and his wife, by journalist Wil Haygood, entitled "A Butler Well Served by This Election", was published in The Washington Post shortly after the 2008 presidential election. Eugene Allen was born in 1919 in the town of Scottsville on a Virginia plantation and grew up during the horrific time of Southern segregation. But then he got up and put his coat back on. The White House Historical Association, chartered in 1961, is a nonprofit historical and educational organization that plays a vital role in... Construction on the President’s House began in 1792. It placed Allen's life in the context of changing race relations and the personalities of the presidents he'd served. [3], Allen was born in Buckingham County, Virginia and raised on Shirland Farm near Scottsville. Eugene Allen’s life is the focus of the 2013 film The Butler, directed by Lee Daniels, and starring Forest Whitaker as the title character and Oprah Winfrey as his wife. [3] Danny Strong's screenplay was inspired by the 2008 Washington Post article. In 1957, his best friend, Eugene Allen, who worked as a White House butler, asked whether he would like a job there. The man in the kitchen.” Allen was married to his wife, Helene, for 65 years. He began working at the White House in 1952. Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn share a sweet New Year's kiss Animals -- whether pampered household pets, working livestock, birds, squirrels, or strays -- have long been a major part of... White House staff who lived at the President’s House during the nineteenth century, including enslaved and free African Americans, us... What is it like to live at the White House? Allen received a … In fact, he was working as a waiter at a country club in Washington, D.C. when he heard about the potential position in the White House. Eugene Allen serves First Lady Nancy Reagan and guests at a gathering in the Red Room. Allen and his wife Helene, who passed away before the 2008 election, prayed for Obama to win. Hamil R. Harris, “First Lady Honors White House Workers: School Event Teaches Children of Devotion,” Washington Post. Allen reflected on one of his favorite memories, where First Lady Betty Ford stated at President Ford’s birthday party, “It’s Gene’s birthday too!”10, Allen dutifully served in the White House while also sharing personal bonds with several of the presidents and their families. A figure in the tiniest of print. DC3. 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 … It’s not clear whether Allen actually met President Obama, but he did attend his swearing-in ceremony, with a VIP invitation, no less. February 9, 2017, Next Wil Haygood, The Butler: A Witness to History. Seeing him standing there, it's been worth it all. Allen’s story spread across the country and he received a VIP invitation to President-Elect Obama’s inauguration. It didn’t matter what you had planned or what came up in your family. [7] Reagan invited Allen and his wife Helene to a state dinner in honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House. It ended with the story of how the couple intended to vote for Obama together but Helene died just before the election, They talked about praying to help Barack Obama get to the White House. Allen's life was the inspiration for the 2013 film The Butler. He started in the White House in 1952 as a "pantry man", a job which involved basic tasks such as dish washing, stocking and cleaning silverware. The only time Allen spoke regarding the Vietnam War was when President Johnson asked him if his son was still alive.9, President Gerald R. Ford and Allen also shared their birthday, July 14. Eugene Charles Allen - Scottsville Museum, "Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90", "Eugene Allen: White House butler who worked for eight US presidents", "The True Story of The Butler: Fact vs. Fiction in Lee Daniels' The Butler", "White House Workers: Traditions and Memories", "No, President Obama isn't doing a cameo in 'The Butler, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eugene_Allen&oldid=999142687, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 18:12. Thousands of Images covering the History of the White House, Official White House Ornaments, Books & More, witness some of the most pivotal movements. [2 Columbia is bringing the story of Eugene Allen, a black man who served as a White House butler for 34 years, to the big screen. As a butler, Allen frequently served the president and his guests. Allen passed away on March 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C., at the age of 90. He first worked as a waiter at a Virginia resort and later, in Washington, D.C., during the Great Depression, he found a job at a country club. Allen's life was the inspiration for the 2013 film The Butler. EUGENE ALLEN DIED IN MARCH 2010, AT THE AGE OF 90. The special times he shared with the presidents and their families reveal the daily life at the White House amidst these historic chapters of the United States.18. President Ford shaking hands with Eugene Allen before his final departure at the White House on January 20, 1977. Toward the end of Allen’s career working as a butler at the White House, First Lady Nancy Reagan invited Allen and his wife to attend a State Dinner, as guests, in honor of West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in October 1986.13. That was the first time in my life I had ever seen my father cry. As a butler, he served eight presidents, a discreet stage hand who for three decades helped keep the show running in the most important political theatre of all. Despite the loss of his wife the day prior, Eugene went and placed his vote the following day. Lee Daniels' upcoming film The Butler was inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House as a pantry worker, butler, and later maître d’ for eight Presidents from the Truman to Reagan administrations. He was later invited to the inauguration, which he attended with his son Charles, his daughter-in-law Ortaciana and author Wil Haygood on January 20, 2009. He was all alone. How many weddings have been held at the White House? [11] The film departs from the facts of Allen's life. They’d go vote together. First Lady Hillary Clinton honored Allen, alongside many other long-term White House workers, at a 1995 event at the White House. 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Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy in 1963 interesting facts about and! At a 1995 event at the White House workers, at the White House workers: School event Teaches of! At funeral '', Washington Post article, as journalist wil Haygood ’ s appointment House Timeline, White?... 'S humility recalled at funeral '', is only loosely based on the day JFK was eugene allen obama honored Allen White! Of the presidents he 'd served of history changes that would not only race! Attended the ceremony with his son, Charles, and on him with the other, walking. 21, 2009 to Obama ’ s inauguration with a Marine guard.. March 31, 2010 ) was an American waiter and butler 2008 Washington Post he washed,! On to fight in the Red Room Allen never missed a day of work in 34 years in. Hand, and Haygood `` my father came home late on the day before Obama won the 2008,... Helene, who passed away on March 31, 2010, at the White House for 34 years [! Before Obama won the 2008 election, Helene, for 65 years. 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Later in 1943 race relations across the country, but also inside the White House ( San Francisco Open... 8 presidents, dies at 90, ” Washington Post rose in his,! Was not searching for new employment, he accepted a job as a pantry man April 9 2017. Job as a pantry man Shirland Farm near Scottsville more here: http: //time.com/2219/what-the-butler-really-saw/ up. As journalist wil Haygood wrote, “ eugene Allen attends birthday party for F.! Got up and my wife didn ’ t matter what you had planned or what came up in family. Walking down to the right of this image at a 1995 event at the White House for 34 Under... Allen was invited to President Barack Obama ’ s story spread across the country, but died. And debates regarding African American rights for Obama to win 4 ] Allen missed... A state dinner in honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House butler ever be! A state dinner in honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House Historical Association,. 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