Allen G. Noble, born in New York City and raised in central New York State, received his undergraduate degree from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1951. From there he went on to the University of Maryland to complete an MA in Geography in 1953. He undertook doctoral work at the University of Illinois where he was awarded a PhD in Geography in 1957. After completing his PhD, Allen joined the United States diplomatic service. He held consular positions in India and Brazil and was also posted at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Allen's international experience and consequent interest in diverse geographic settings became the foundation for his future research work in geography. Through his international exposure, he came to appreciate diverse political and geographic issues and conditions. Initially an observer, Allen progressed towards detailed study and research into different cultures and their constituent elements. He, thus, was establishing the basis for his career as a cultural geographer. Among the diverse settings to which Allen has applied his research skills and attention are India, China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indo-China, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Finland, Spain, Greece, Italy, Poland and Brazil.
After more than six years in the diplomatic service, Allen decided to seek a teaching position in USA. His first appointment was in the Department of Geography at California State College in Pennsylvania (1963–64). Allen then moved on to the University of Akron where he has spent the rest of his career as Professor, Head of the Department of Geography and Planning, Distinguished University Professor and, currently, Professor Emeritus.