Norwood Allman

Norwood Francis Allman (July 23, 1893 – February 28, 1987) was a China-based American lawyer, consul, newspaperman and judge and also served as a member of the Shanghai Municipal Council from 1940 to 1942. During World War II he served in the OSS in charge of Far East Counter-intelligence and later worked for the CIA.

Norwood Allman
Norwood Allman in SVC Uniform.png
Councillor, Shanghai Municipal Council
In office
April 1940 – January 1942
Personal details
Born(1893-07-23)July 23, 1893
Union Hall, Virginia, U.S.
DiedFebruary 28, 1987(1987-02-28) (aged 93)
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, U.S.
ProfessionConsul, lawyer, intelligence officer

Early lifeEdit

Allman was born on 24 July 1893, in Union Hall, Virginia. Allman attended the University of Virginia for one year before sitting the consular exam.

Consular career in ChinaEdit

Allman was appointed student interpreter in the American legation in Peking in 1915, and served as a consular officer in various locations finally serving as consul in Shanghai from 1921 to 1924. During that time, he also sat as an assessor (at the time, effectively a co-judge) on the International Mixed Court.[1]


Allman married Mary Louise Hamilton on 12 August 1920 in Qingdao.[2] They had three children.


In 1924, having being admitted to practice before the United States Court for China, Allman retired from consular service and practised law in Shanghai.[3] He also served as honorary Mexican consul in Shanghai.

From 1937, he took over the running of as the editor of the Chinese language Shun Pao newspaper. He was placed on a Japanese black list because of the paper's editorial policies. In 1940, he was elected a member Shanghai Municipal Council. He was in Hong Kong on business when World War II started and was interned in Stanley Internment Camp.[4]

In 1943, he published a book, Shanghai Lawyer, about his career in China.

After being repatriated, he served in the Office of Strategic Services during the war and continued to work for the CIA after the war.[5]

Life in AmericaEdit

Allman left China in 1950 and returned to America. He was a broadcaster in America for a number of years.


Allman died on 28 February 1987, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.[6]


  1. ^ Allman, Norwood, Shanghai Lawyer
  2. ^ North China Herald, August 21, 1920
  3. ^ Register of the Department of State, April 7, 1924
  4. ^ New York Times, March 2, 1987
  5. ^ Allman, Shanghai Lawyer, Epilogue to 2017 reprint by Douglas Clark. He returned to Shanghai in 1946 to restart his legal practice and also owned and edited the English language China Press.
  6. ^ New York Times, March 2, 1987

External linksEdit