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John M. Allegro was born February 17, 1923 in London. He served in the Royal Navy then studied at the University of Manchester, where he obtained a first-class Honors Degree in Oriental studies in 1951. A year later, he was awarded a Masters degree for his work on the Balaam Oracles. His Oxford research on Hebrew dialects was interrupted when in 1953 he was called to join the first international team of scholars working on the newly discovered Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem.

Mr. Allegro was a lecturer, etymologist, and author, credited with:

• The Dead Sea Scrolls, 1956

• The People of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1958

• The Treasure of the Copper Scroll, 1960

• The Shapira Affair, 1965

• Search in the Desert, 1967

• Discoveries in the Judaean Desert of Jordan, Qumran Cave 4. V (4Q158-4Q186), 1968

• The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, 1970

• The Chosen People, 1971

• The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth, 1979

• Physician, Heal Thyself, 1985

John Marco Allegro died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm on his 65th birthday, February 17, 1988 at his home in Sandbach, Cheshire.

Before his death, Allegro had been criticized by his former friends and colleagues for his outspoken and unconventional ideas. But far from being banished as a scholar after years of "academic" attack, he resigned from the University out of his own accord. He did this before The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross went to print. He had had enough of academia and wanted to write freelance.

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