James B. Allen

James B. Allen was born in Ogden, Utah, on June 14, 1927. His family lived in Coalville and Salt Lake City, Utah, and in Star Valley, Wyoming. When he was eleven they moved to Logan, Utah. James received his bachelor's degree in history from Utah State University in 1954, his master's degree from BYU in 1956, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern California in 1963. He began his professional career in the LDS Church Education System in 1954. He was a seminary teacher, seminary coordinator, institute teacher, and Director of the Institutes of Religion in Long Beach and San Bernardino, California. In 1963 he became a member of the Church History faculty at Brigham Young University, and the following year he joined the History department. In 1972 he was appointed Assistant Church Historian, working with newly-appointed Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington. For the next seven years, James spent half his time in that capacity and the other half at BYU. He returned full-time to BYU in 1979 and served as chairman of the History department from 1981 to 1987, when he was appointed to the Lemuel Hardison Redd Chair. He held this appointment until his retirement in 1992.

Throughout his career, Professor Allen has authored, co-authored, and co-edited fourteen books and monographs, around ninety articles mostly related to LDS Church History, and numerous book reviews in professional journals. He has received several prizes and awards for his work including the David Woolley Evans and Beatrice Cannon Evans Biography Award in 1986 for Trials of Discipleship: The Story of William Clayton, a Mormon (re-published in 2002 as No Toil nor Labor Fear: The Story of William Clayton). He was named BYU's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer in 1984, and in 1988 he was named a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society.

Among Professor Allen's most well-known books are The Story of the Latter-day Saints (with Glen M. Leonard, Deseret Book Company 2nd edition, 1992) and Men with a Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837–1941 (with Ronald K. Esplin and David J. Whittaker, Deseret Book Company, 1992). He was also the major author-compiler of Studies in Mormon History, 1830–1997: An Indexed Bibliography (with Ronald W. Walker and David J. Whittaker, University of Illinois Press, 2000). This remarkable bibliography, which took over sixteen years to compile, was heralded by the Mormon History Association, as well as by historians generally, as the most valuable tool yet to appear for students of LDS History. J. Michael Hunter, of the BYU library, continues to update the bibliography database, which is now online at http://mormonhistory.byu.edu.

Professor Allen is married to the former Renée Jones, and they live in Orem, Utah.