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Raymond B. Allen, First Chancellor at UCLA, Dies at 83

March 22, 1986

Raymond B. Allen, named UCLA's first chancellor in 1952 when the Westwood campus moved into an era of greater academic and administrative freedom, has died in a Fredericksburg, Va., hospital, his son, Raymond Jr., announced Friday.

Allen was 83 and had held a succession of primarily governmental positions since leaving UCLA in 1959, most recently as director of Research and Population Dynamics for the Pan American Health Organization.

He was a one-time family physician who came to Los Angeles from the University of Washington where he was president. There he established a reputation as a strident anti-Communist, once recommending that three University of Washington professors be dismissed and three others placed on probation for alleged membership in the Communist Party.

His appointment at UCLA was viewed at the time as an effort to mollify many in the community who found the growing university too liberal for their McCarthy Era tastes.

In 1951 Robert Gordon Sproul, then president of the UC system, recommended Allen for the new position of chancellor, created to give UCLA a leader with more autonomy than the previous provosts had enjoyed. He officially took over the office in 1952.

Allen began his professional life as a general practitioner in Minot, N.D., after earning five degrees at the University of Minnesota. He became a fellow at the Mayo Foundation, an associate dean at Columbia University and dean of Wayne State University College of Medicine.

He also held executive positions at the University of Illinois and medical, dental and pharmaceutical schools in the Chicago area before moving to the University of Washington in 1946.

Just before coming to UCLA, he served briefly as director of the U.S. Psychological Strategy Board.

In addition to his political posture, Allen was a particularly attractive candidate for UC regents because of his extensive medical background. The school at that time was embarking on what today is the UCLA Medical Center.

When he left UCLA, he said it was because "I feel I have completed my job" in that expansion plans at the then 16,000-student campus were well along.

He retired to Virginia in 1967. His survivors include two sons and two daughters.

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