Insurance agent/community activist Ronald Allen of Naperville shot to death while driving in North Austin

A well-known and respected west suburban businessman was shot to death while driving in the North Austin neighborhood early Friday on the West Side, but police are uncertain whether Ronald L. Allen was the intended target.

Allen, who grew up in the Austin neighborhood, was one of the first black owners of an insurance agency backed by a major national company, Allstate, before retiring about seven years ago.

He was also an activist whose goal was to help repair the relationssip between police and communities with the group Urban Partnership.

Family members said on Facebook that Allen, 73, was returning from playing cards with friends the night he he was shot.

At about 2:20 a.m. in the 1300 block of North Laramie, someone opened fire on his vehicle and he was struck in the side, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

His vehicle crashed into two parked cars, and he was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:43 a.m., authorities said. It wasn’t clear whether he was the intended target.

Allen, who lived in the 2800 block of Bond Circle in Naperville, had founded the A. Allen Insurance Agency in Austin. A graduate of Chicago State University, he also hosted a radio show called “The Financial Forum” on WVON-AM. He also served as a precinct committeeman in Naperville Township and was active in the DuPage County NAACP.

Family members said it was not unusual for Allen to be playing cards with friends in his old neighborhood. He loved the game Bid Whist so much that he even wrote a book, “The Evolution of Bid Whist,” on the history and strategy of the popular game.

—Homicide Watch Chicago

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