Allen J. Beckman, 70, Civic Leader, Political Adviser


Beckman served on the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the Mayor’s Housing Task Force and a city planning steering committee.


Allen J. Beckman, 70, an attorney and longtime political adviser, died Jan. 22 after a long illness. 

A graduate of Temple University and the Villanova University Law School who also studied at the Wharton School, Beckman was a member of the law firms of Freedman, Borow­sky and Lorry, and Richter, Syken, Binder & O’Neil before establishing Shuster & Beckman in 1972. In 1984, the firm became known as Allen J. Beckman & Associates.

At the time of his death, he was of counsel to Joseph Chaik­en & Associates. 

From 1975 through 1981, he was vice president and treasurer of Integrated Systems International, Inc. From 1982 through 1993, he was executive director of the Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission.

He was a principal and/or an officer of Affinity Medical Resources; MertoMed; NuMedics,  Affiliated East Coast Asset Management Associates; and Manhattan Capital Partners. 

He served on the advisory boards of both Republic Bank and United Bank and had regularly served on and chaired arbitration panels. 

Beckman had been a member, board member, officer and/or committee chairperson for the Philadelphia Bar Association and other organizations. He had served as a commissioner of the Philadelphia Historical Commission; a member of the Mayor’s Housing Task Force; and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission Special Steering Committee.

He was chairman of the boards of both the Philadelphia Civic Museums Corporation and the Friends of the Museums as well as many other community, fraternal and charitable organizations. 

Beckman had been involved as campaign manager, finance chairman, Election Day coordinator and adviser to numerous candidates for federal, state and local elections.

He wrote articles, presided over professional seminars and appeared on local and national television on subjects involving law, business, real estate, politics, art and community acti­vism.

As a young man, he played the violin and the trombone in symphonies and bands around Philadelphia. 

He was a longtime active member of Har Zion Temple and, in most recent years, Temple Sholom in Broomall. 

Beckman is survived by his wife of 33 years, the former Cynthia Zelinsky; and a sister, Sharan Mandell.


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