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Pioneering black lawyer W. George Allen dies at 83

Josh Ritchie
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Fort Lauderdale attorney W. George Allen speaks during an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wade Ins along Fort Lauderdale Beach.

W. George Allen, a hugely influential figure in Broward history and its black community, has died, his family confirmed Thursday. He was 83.

In 1962, Allen became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Florida. He once said: “I was admitted to Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley, but I’m a native Floridian, and I felt that somebody had to integrate the University of Florida. The racists told me I didn’t belong there and I’d never graduate.”

But he did. And he became a leading lawyer in Florida and the nation. Allen was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, including playing a key role in integrating public schools in Broward County.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel.