Black Virginia native witnesses history after a long career at the White House

By | November 8, 2008

Wil Haygood, Washington Post

– For more than three decades Eugene Allen worked in the White House, a black man unknown to the headlines. During some of those years, harsh segregation laws lay upon the land.

He trekked home every night, his wife, Helene, keeping him out of her kitchen. At the White House, he worked closer to the dirty dishes than the large desk in the Oval Office. Helene didn’t care; she just beamed with pride.

President Truman called him Gene. President Ford liked to talk golf with him. He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week. “I never missed a day of work,” Allen says.

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