Charles Maxwell Allen, 90, formerly of Chestnut Hill, a lawyer and a former Democratic chairman of Philadelphia’s 9th Ward, died March 23 in Wilsonville, Ore., where he had been living since 2005.
Mr. Allen served as Democratic leader of the 9th Ward (Chestnut Hill) in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Until he retired in his 70s, he was a partner in the firm of Howson & Howson in Philadelphia, specializing in trademarks and copyrights. A longtime advocate of progressive politics, he served as chair of the Plainfield, N.J., chapter of Americans for Democratic Action and was one of the very early voices to speak publicly against the abuses of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Born in Albany, N.Y., Mr. Allen graduated from Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Conn. After starting college at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the Army Air Force during World War II and trained as a navigator on B-24 and B-29 bombers.
After the war, he attended Harvard University Law School on the GI Bill, graduating in 1947. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957.
He was an avid reader, a sometime poet and a lifelong baseball fan of the New York/San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox.
He is survived by daughters Barbara Purinton, of North Hero, Vt., Elizabeth Craigie, of Waterville, Maine, Deborah Foltyn of Beaverton, Ore., and Jennifer Allen, of Portland, Ore.; seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Mr. Allen’s wife, the former Barbara Wiltbank, died in 2014. – WF