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Don A. Allen Sr.


Picture of Don A. Allen Sr.
CA Blue Book
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-08-1938 Democratic AD-63 17587 Win
11-05-1940 Democratic AD-63 27438 Win
11-03-1942 Democratic AD-63 20591 Win
11-07-1944 Democratic AD-63 32288 Win
11-05-1946 Democratic AD-63 25105 Win
06-05-1956 Democratic AD-63 11614 Win
11-06-1956 Democratic AD-63 31508 Win
11-04-1958 Democratic AD-63 34562 Win
11-08-1960 Democratic AD-63 39092 Win
11-06-1962 Democratic AD-63 44038 Win
11-03-1964 Democratic AD-63 59235 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: May 13, 1907 in Atlantic, Iowa
Married: Margaret Sachs
Children: Don A. Jr.
Family: Second-cousin of Henry Justin Allen (Governor of Kansas; 1919-1923)
University: University of Southern California
Military Service: USMC (Haitian Campaign, 1927 Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua)
Died: August 1, 1983 in Sacramento, CA

1920s: Investigator, Office of Los Angeles County District Attorney Tom Woolwine
1947: Resigned from the State Assembly on June 20.
1947-1956: Member, Los Angeles City Council
1956: Declined to be sworn in for 100 days after the Special Election.
1968: Founder, Association of Former California Legislators

  • DECLINED TO ASSUME OFFICE: Following his reelection to the State Assembly in the June 1956 Special Election, Allen declined to assume the office (and remained a member of the Los Angeles City Council) until Septmeber 13th (100 days after the Special Election). By that time, the Legislature had adjourned and did not meet for the rest of the year.
  • PUBLISHED: Allen was the author of "Legislative Sourcebook: The California Legislature and Reapportionment, 1849-1965", published in 1965, which was one of the most complete resources on the history of the California Legislature. It began as a memo to his fellow legislators in 1959, which (because of the feedback he received) became a series of memos throughout the rest of the year. The first edition of the Legislative Sourcebook was published in 1962.
  • LEGISLATIVE HISTORIAN: In 1966, his work was recognized when the Senate and Assembly awarded him the title "California Legislative Historian for Life".
  • Allen (as Chair of the Assembly Elections and Reapportionment Committee) and Stephen P. Teale (Chair of the Senate Reapportionment Committee) were the two legislators responsible for the 1966 Senate reapportionment following the Reynolds v. Sims court decision. 
  • QUOTABLE: In a 1980 interview with James H. Rowland for the Regional Oral History Project, Allen made a comment about the Warren Commission that was so humorous that it had to be included in this otherwise short biography; "Later I wrote a letter I don't know whether I have it around here any more or whatever I did to President Lyndon B. Johnson and told him that I anticipated that Earl Warren was going to be head of the committee investigating the Kennedy assassination, I told him that Earl Warren couldn't find a giraffe in a flock of sheep, and he'd screw any kind of a report like that up so bad that it'd be a controversy from now on out. But Johnson didn't pay any attention to it." [Source]
  • Another quote from the same interview; "If Pat Brown had been a woman, he would have been pregnant every 15 minutes." 
  • QUOTABLE: In the book "A Disorderly House", Allen describes Assemblyman Charles Edward Chapel (with whom he had served in Marines) on the night of the Jess Unruh legislative lock-in; "I haven't seen Charlie look so damned happy since he was hunting rebels in Nicaragua thirty years ago."

Source: California Blue Book (1946), (1961)
Source: Legislative Sourcebook: The California Legislature and Reapportionment, 1849-1965 (1965)
Source: Social Security Death Index (website)
Source: A Disorderly House: The Brown-Unruh Years in Sacramento by James R. Mills (Heyday Books; 1987)
Source: Members of the California Legislature and Other State Officials by the California Teamsters Legislative Council (1957 ed.)