Frederick N. Allen was born August 10, 1914 in Portland, Maine to Margaret Stevens Allen and Neil W. Allen, who served as the mayor of Portland, Maine. He had three brothers: Charles, Neil, Jr., and Franklin, and two sisters, Louise and Barbara. He is the uncle of Tom Allen (son of Charles), current U.S. Congressman from Maine. He grew up in Portland, attending public schools there and went to college at Boston University. After college, he worked briefly for the family business before embarking on a career in politics. He spent two terms in the Maine House of Representatives, from 1945 to 1947, and in 1949, he began two terms in the Maine Senate. There, he became nationally active in the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and eventually served as national president of that organization. He was a supporter of Burton Cross, Margaret Chase Smith, and Edmund Muskie.
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Nicoll, Don, "Allen, Frederick oral history interview" (2001). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 9.