Helen Russell Allegrone was born in 1921 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her father was city mayor and her grandfather was the state governor. She attended Barnard College in New York for one year, then graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge in January 1943.
In March 1943, Allegrone joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). She attended basic training at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and was then assigned to the research department in cryptography in Washington, D.C. Allegrone was discharged from the WAVES as a lieutenant in the fall of 1945.
In February 1946, Helen married Charlie Allegrone, and they had four children together. She later earned a teaching certificate at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and taught at all-black Hampton Elementary School. In 1990, Allegrone ran for Congress, but was defeated by Howard Coble.
Allegrone died on 9 October 2009.