After serving in the Philadelphia City Council during the 1970s, this Republican Party politician and medical doctor took office as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
After earning a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from West Virginia State College, she received her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
When Dick Thornburgh fired her from his cabinet, Allen was backed by several civil rights organizations, as well as by her own Pennsylvania community of African-Americans.
She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Though her parents were both active in Democratic politics, she joined the Republican Party after volunteering for the 1952 campaign of Dwight Eisenhower.