Allen, Robert S. (Robert Sharon), 1900-1981

Alternative names
Birth 1900-07-14
Death 1981-02-23

Biographical notes:

Colonel, U.S. Army during World War II.

From the description of The Robert S. Allen papers, 1944-1945. (US Army, Mil Hist Institute). WorldCat record id: 22353583


Ruth Finney was born 6 March 1898, in Chicago, Illinois, to John W. and Mary Morrison Finney. She grew up in Downieville and Sacramento, California and attended San Jose Normal School where she received a teaching certificate in 1918. After substitute teaching in Sacramento for three months, she resigned to join the staff of the Sacramento Star as a reporter.

In 1922, Finney received statewide recognition for her reporting of the Argonaut Mine disaster in Jackson, California. She was transferred to the San Francisco Daily News and there received national attention for her coverage of President Warren G. Harding's death at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. As a result, she became the Washington, D.C. correspondent for the four California Scripps-Howard newspapers. During her first years in Washington, Ruth Finney covered the Teapot Dome Oil scandal, monitored the passage of the Boulder Canyon Project Act (which authorized the construction of Hoover Dam and the allocation of its resources), and investigated the corruption in the electric and gas utilities industry, for which she received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in 1931.

She began writing a weekly column, "Washington Calling," in 1941, which contained news, political and economic analyses, and forecasts and was distributed to all Scripps-Howard newspapers. She wrote numerous magazine articles and was a member of the Washington Press Club.

Ruth Finney married Robert Sharon Allen, co-author of Washington Merry-Go-Round, in 1929. Together they became fixtures of the Washington social scene, entertaining and being entertained by presidents, senators, members of congress and court justices. Such occasions provided grist for her column. Though she partially retired in 1965, Finney continued writing her column through 1974.

Ruth Finney died 20 March 1979 and was survived by her husband.

From the guide to the The Ruth Finney Papers, 1906-1979, (University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Newspapers--Sections, columns, etc
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • News agencies
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives
  • Journalists
  • Plagiarism
  • Authors
  • World War, 1939-1945--Destruction and pillage
  • World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence
  • Investigative reporting


not available for this record


  • Japan (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)