eugene allen obama

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eugene allen obama

He served eight presidents of the United States. 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. 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. This made him privy to private conversations and debates regarding African American rights. Eugene Allen served in the White House for 34 years. Allen observed social changes that would not only transform race relations across the country, but also inside the White House. 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. Eugene Allen was invited to President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 21, 2009. Wil Haygood, The Butler: A Witness to History. The couple had one son, Charles Allen. Eugene and Helene both supported Barack Obama, but Helene died the day before Obama won the 2008 presidential election. Eugene Allen at President Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009 as a VIP guest. 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. Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served presidents from Harry S. Truman through Ronald Reagan, has died. Clarence Lusane, The Black History of the White House (San Francisco: Open Media Series, 2011, 270. 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. The man in the kitchen.” 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. [3], Allen was born in Buckingham County, Virginia and raised on Shirland Farm near Scottsville. Allen was particularly affected by the murder of President Kennedy in 1963. But he volunteered … In 1957, his best friend, Eugene Allen, who worked as a White House butler, asked whether he would like a job there. The central character, "Cecil Gaines", is only loosely based on the real Allen. 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. Allen died of renal failure Wednesday at a … 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 Wednesday of renal failure at Washington Adventist Hospital in suburban Takoma Park, Md. Kevin Clark / The Washington Post / Getty Images. Charles would go on to fight in the Vietnam War. Longtime White House Butler Served For 34 Years Under 8 Presidents, From Truman to Reagan. 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. But then he got up and put his coat back on. 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. Allen was married to his wife, Helene, for 65 years. A figure in the tiniest of print. Thousands of Images covering the History of the White House, Official White House Ornaments, Books & More, witness some of the most pivotal movements. [11] The film departs from the facts of Allen's life. 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… That was the first time in my life I had ever seen my father cry. He got a personal invitation to the funeral. EUGENE ALLEN DIED IN MARCH 2010, AT THE AGE OF 90. Eugene Allen is pictured to the right of this image at a reception hosted by President Kennedy for PT Boat Veterans in 1962. He nudged Helene again. Allen passed away on March 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C., at the age of 90. 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. 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. 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. 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. Friday April 2, 2010. 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. A figure in the tiniest of print. And she’d get supper going afterward...On Monday Helene had a doctor’s appointment. 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. Gene woke and nudged her once, then again. [2 As a butler, Allen frequently served the president and his guests. "[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. [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]. 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. [7] Reagan invited Allen and his wife Helene to a state dinner in honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House. November 7, 2008. Even though Allen was not searching for new employment, he accepted a job as a pantry man. 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. Friday April 2, 2010. On January 20, 2009, Allen attended Obama's inauguration with … She’d lean on her cane with one hand, and on him with the other, while walking down to the precinct. Allen and his wife Helene, who passed away before the 2008 election, prayed for Obama to win. Assisting eight presidents, Allen’s top priority was to make the White House a comfortable residence for each chief executive and his family. 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. They’d go vote together. "[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]. Eugene Allen represented, as journalist Wil Haygood wrote, “a story from the back pages of history. Wil Haygood, “Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90,” Washington Post. How many weddings have been held at the White House? Eugene Allen served eight U.S. presidents during his 34 years working in the White House. This article was originally published Born on July 14 1919 at … Eugene Allen’s 2010 obituary He was in the White House kitchen the day JFK was slain. Allen died March 31, 2010. 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. Allen was the first White House butler ever to be invited as a guest to a state dinner. 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. “I woke up and my wife didn’t,” he said later. He began working at the White House in 1952. They met at a birthday party in Washington in 1942, and married a year later in 1943. He was 90. African Americans in the White House Timeline, White House Historical Association. 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. He washed dishes, stocked cabinets and shined silverware. PHOTOS: President Obama's A-list pals ... And Oprah, my girl, she can act," President Obama … The movie, “The Butler,” was inspired by Allen’s story. It placed Allen's life in the context of changing race relations and the personalities of the presidents he'd served. Just a couple of miles from the White House, in a rundown neighbourhood off Georgia Avenue, lives a … February 9, 2017, Next Allen was born in Buckingham County, Virginia and raised on Shirland Farm near Scottsville. 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. (The movie was loosely inspired by real-life White House butler Eugene Allen.) According to his son, "My father came home late on the day that President Kennedy had been shot. Although he lived to see Barack Obama achieve the highest office, as a boy Eugene Allen knew the infamy of segregation. Eugene Allen experienced crucial moments in American history during his time at the White House. He was 90. But in the hallway, he fell against the wall and started crying. 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. Allen's life was the inspiration for the 2013 film The Butler. 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 … He was all alone. "[4] Allen never missed a day of work in 34 years.[6]. [9], Allen died of kidney failure at the Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland on March 31, 2010.[2]. After Wil Haygood’s article was published in the Washington Post it received national attention. 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. Over the years Allen rose in his position, becoming the butler to the president. He attended the ceremony with his son, Charles, and Haygood. 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. 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. 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. [7], The story had an immediate impact. 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. Despite the loss of his wife the day prior, Eugene went and placed his vote the following day. 7. New York: Atria Books, 2013. What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies? 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. He said, 'I've got to go back to work.' 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. Public History Fellow. Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn share a sweet New Year's kiss Allen's life was the inspiration for the 2013 film The Butler. First Lady Betty Ford and President Ford often included Allen in the birthday celebrations. [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. 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. Hamil R. Harris, “First Lady Honors White House Workers: School Event Teaches Children of Devotion,” Washington Post. 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. WASHINGTON (AP) — Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served presidents from Harry Truman through Ronald Reagan, died Wednesday in Takoma Park, Md. He shuffled around to her side of the bed. The couple had been married 65 years. Eugene Allen (July 14, 1919 – March 31, 2010) was an American waiter and butler. Before the election, Helene marveled at the idea of a black man in the Oval Office. It’s not clear whether Allen actually met President Obama, but he did attend his swearing-in ceremony, with a VIP invitation, no less. Wil Haygood, “Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90,” Washington Post. 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. 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. He attended the ceremony with his son, Charles, and Haygood. February 16, 1995. 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. Eugene Allen serves First Lady Nancy Reagan and guests at a gathering in the Red Room. Allen received a VIP invitation to Obama’s inauguration with a Marine guard escort. 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. Wil Haygood, “A Butler Well Served By This Election,” Washington Post. You can learn more here: http://time.com/2219/what-the-butler-really-saw/. [3] Danny Strong's screenplay was inspired by the 2008 Washington Post article. Making Connections in the President's Neighborhood, Pulling Back the Curtain on the Executive Mansion, Bethany Nagle 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. President Ford shaking hands with Eugene Allen before his final departure at the White House on January 20, 1977. It didn’t matter what you had planned or what came up in your family. Then in 1957, his best friend, Eugene Allen, who worked as a White House butler, asked whether he would like a job there. 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. Eugene Allen attends birthday party for John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy in 1962. [6] He retired in 1986. First Lady Hillary Clinton honored Allen, alongside many other long-term White House workers, at a 1995 event at the White House. Seeing him standing there, it's been worth it all. Eugene Allen's was one of them. Bill Hamilton shares personal story of serving half century in the White House. 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. "White House butler Eugene Allen's humility recalled at funeral", Washington Post, April 9, 2010. He was 90 and lived in Washington. 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. Eugene Allen represented, as journalist Wil Haygood wrote, “ … 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? 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. In the end, Eugene Allen, a White House butler who lived a life behind the scenes of history, was the subject of wide acclaim. DC3. Allen received a … He worked for the White House for 34 years until he retired in 1986. Eugene Allen with Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Allen’s story spread across the country and he received a VIP invitation to President-Elect Obama’s inauguration. The Historic Stephen Decatur House. 3 ] Danny Strong 's screenplay was inspired by real-life White House for 34 Under. Ford and President Ford often included Allen in the White House butler served for 34 years. 6... 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