Allen Sommers, 87, a public relations agent who founded one of the first such firms in Philadelphia, died Nov. 19. He was a resident of Center City.
Sommers began his career as a reporter for the Evening Ledger, which he joined after graduating from Central High School in 1936. He stayed with the paper until it folded in 1942.
He joined the Marines and was assigned to the Fifth Marine Division as a combat correspondent. He witnessed 36 days of the battle in Iwo Jima. He and fellow correspondent Chester Smith co-wrote a book about the battle. Their work, which took 35 days to complete, was titled Iwo: Hell's Half-Acre.
Sommers was discharged in 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant.
Soon after, he started Allen Sommers Associates in Center City. Over the years, the firm merged into Sommers Rosen, then Shapson Gero Sommers Inc. before he retired in 1986.
Sommers is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ruth Sommers; daughter Ricki Gero; son Carl Sommers; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Memorial donations may be sent to the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation, Ricki Gero Research Fund, 129 Hawkins Rd., Maryland, N.Y. 12116.