Thomas Farnham Allen

Thomas Farnham Allen

Died October 17, 2007

Thomas Allen was a successful tax lawyer in Cleveland but was best known for his stamp collections, winning national and international awards for his exhibitions. He got into stamp and postal marking collecting as a teenager; and in 1978 his first exhibit, envelopes and letters to and from Confederate soldiers held prisoner in Ohio during the Civil war, won a prize at a show sponsored by Greater Cleveland’s Garfield-Perry Stamp Club.
Tom arrived at Yale as a member of the class of ’64 but took a year off after his freshman year and graduated in ’65. He was admitted to Yale Law School and graduated in 1968, moonlighting as a lecturer at New Haven Community College and as an instructor in the Yale Political Science Department.

Tom took his law degree home to Ohio and began working with the prestigious Cleveland law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, specializing in tax law and becoming a partner in 1978. In 1991 Tom left the firm to go into solo practice in tax, trust and estates law. He served on the boards of several charities in the Cleveland area and helped to recruit promising high school students to apply to Yale.

Throughout his legal career Tom pursued his passion for stamp collecting. His main collecting interest was the postal history of Cleveland going back to the days before printed postage stamps were issued. His collections won the American Philatelic Society Medal of Excellence and an international gold medal in Brussels, Belgium. He held numerous offices in the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, one of the oldest in the United States, the Ohio Postal Society and U.S. Philatelic Classics Society.

Tom died on October 17, 2007 of complications from emphysema and heart disease. In 2013 the American Philatelic Society created the Thomas F. Allen Award for the best article published in a single year of The Philatelic Literature Review.