Bob Allman’s life was one of the greatest success stories in Pennsylvania athletic annals.  Sightless from the age of four, he became an intercollegiate wrestling champion (captain of the Quaker wrestling squad his senior year), and was later a successful lawyer (Penn Law 1942) in the Philadelphia area.


A 1939 graduate, Allman was the recipient of the Class of 1915 Award, bestowed annually on “that member of the senior class who most closely approaches the ideal University of Pennsylvania student-athlete.”  He was believed to be the first blind athlete ever to compete with sighted athletes in any American sport, and was the first to be awarded a varsity letter at Pennsylvania.


In 1940, Allman was presented the Most Courageous Athlete Award by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.  In accepting the award he thanked all of his coaches and acknowledged his brother George as his inspiration.  Among his remarks at the Sports Writers banquet on Jan. 30, 1940: “This coveted award is most highly prized and will always be the most cherished trophy of my career ... I have done nothing more than the average American boy ... Courage is nothing more than doing the best you can in the good old American Way.”