Former Coral Gables Museum Executive Director And Author, John Allen, Has Died

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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Author and former Executive Director to the Coral Gables Museum, John Allen, has passed away at the age of 69.

John Richard Allen was born at Doctor’s Hospital on February 19, 1953. Raised in Pinecrest, Allen’s parents were heavily involved in the Coral Gables community, fostering his passion for the City Beautiful.

He graduated from Miami Palmetto High School in 1971 and went on to earn degrees in Political Science and History from the University of Miami.

He spent 23 years working for Coral Gables based Home Financing Center before taking on the role of Executive Director of the Coral Gables Museum in 2017. (WATCH Allen give a tour of the museum: Touring The Gables Presented By The Carole Smith Team: Coral Gables Museum).

Allen’s dedication to the museum knew no bounds. He shared with Gables Insider that during Hurricane Irma, he slept at the museum to ensure he could address any issues during the storm immediately.

Allen was an active member of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and served on the boards of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, Coral Gables Art Cinema and the Greater Kendall Business Association.

Allen was a self acclaimed “avid reader.” He was proud of his collection of over 4,500 books, mainly on history and cinema. He was also a faithful reader of this publication, often emailing Gables Insider‘s Founder & Editor Ariel Fernandez to provide feedback on recent Gables Insider editions.

He also authored four books: “The Ouzts Family in America”, “Ross Alexander, Fleeting Star”, Classic Images; “Annabella”, Films of the Golden Age; and “Sculptress Forgotten”.

Allen received the George E. Merrick Award for Leadership & Community Service in 2018 and was honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) for Outstanding Community Service.

The Coral Gables Museum released the following statement on Allen’s passing: “The Coral Gables Museum family is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John R. Allen, former Chairman and Executive Director of the Coral Gables Museum.”

The Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables (HPACG) also posted on their Facebook page, “Sad news today announcing the passing of JOHN ALLEN a great friend of HPACG.”

The cause of death has not been released, but Gables Insider has learned that Allen had resigned from the Museum due to illness. He is survived by his son John Richard Allen, III.


11 thoughts on “Former Coral Gables Museum Executive Director And Author, John Allen, Has Died

  1. John was the president of Coral Gables Museum when I gave the George Merrick Creating the Dream tour. John was always a dignified, friendly leader of the museum. He explained that he attended Palmetto High when I was at Gables High. We reminisced together about the late 60s era and places like the original Miamis Best Pizza on Dixie by the Riviera Theatre. It’s hard to lose John and I’m very sad about it

    Jill Kramer
    Assistant State Attorney
    Gables ‘70

  2. Must repudiate much that I’ve been hearing and read about John… Yes he grew up in the palmetto area of Pinecrest and migrated over to Key biscayne where we met. He was friends and roommates with Bebe Rebozos’s nephew Alberto J Martinez-Azoy Jr whom I went to school 🏫 with @ UWF in Pensacola ‘69-‘71. We 3 used to play cards 🃏 (spades) and (hearts) or go to the movies 🎦 a lot! We each got interested in real estate, Al and I worked at Iriondo/Ecker (Sra. Slyvia), but John went his own way as a broker, getting fairly big and living @ Commodore Club West followed by a move to Key Colony. Some guy named Landy led John by the nose 👃 into committing escrow fraud outta sheer greed. Christian Basick can vouch for this. John kind of got kicked off the island 🏝️ only to begin over in my Coral Gables… Ran into him at a Miracle Theater 🎭 fundraiser a few years back and he didn’t recognize me after 35 years!!! Oh well, se la vie.

  3. I am in shock. I have known John since we were both 15 and involved with Junior Achievement. He was a great friend. We will miss him.

  4. John was an absolute pleasure to work with and always a kind and polite man. You will be missed my friend.

  5. His unbridled enthusiasms brought many broader understandings of life to my high school days.
    I will not mourn him, rather praise his living. You are a good man and goodness is a powerful force.
    Vaya con Dios, dear John.

  6. John was a gentleman and a community participant of major proportions. I will miss his friendly smile and warm personality. Dorothy Thomson, former mayor

  7. A very fine gentleman and a highly respected, dedicated community service leader. John was a friend to all, and his time leading the museum team was among his favorite eras in a life of myriad roles. He will be sorely missed by all who knew this most energetic, generous and magnanimous man.

  8. Great guy always the Gentleman He will be missed
    Dedicated his life to Coral Gables.
    Loved his son.

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