Al Allen is an American journalist who is well known as a Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame personality. He was inducted into the 2021 class of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.
He has also been popular as a radio and TV reporter on the streets of Detroit for 50 years. He covered news in Detroit for almost five decades. A local legend, he innovated news coverage on WJLB radio in the 1970s and later became an iconic presence on Fox 2, covering the city’s political climate, snowy road conditions, and putting a human-interest spin on the mundane.
Al Allen, whose birth name is Andrew Long, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. He moved to Detroit with his family and started reporting at Mumford High School for the student in-house broadcast, “Spotlight on Mumford.”
He returned to Little Rock in 1969 as news director at KOKY radio. Two years later, he moved back to Detroit, becoming a reporter and news director at WCXI-AM and WGPR-FM, then a news and public affairs director at WJLB-FM.
In 1984, Allen joined WJBK-TV2, then a CBS affiliate, and remained there through the 1994 affiliate switch, covering the unique as well as daily breaking news. He retired from FOX 2 in 2012.
Allen has won many local and national awards for his work. United Press International and the Associated Press both awarded him for his reporting on the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa loyalist Otto Wendell. UPI and AP, along with the National Association of Black Journalists, bestowed awards on “Merry-Go-Round of Denial: The Black Alcoholic.”
His trailblazing work on “Crime by Color, Black on Black,” a documentary that examined the issues surrounding community crime in Detroit, earned the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. His report, “Motown: Where Did Our Love Go?” earned an Associated Press award and was nominated for an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In 2019, Wayne State University’s journalism faculty recognized Al Allen with the prestigious Working in the Spirit of Diversity Award. His memoir, “We’re Standing By,” a collection of stories from his career in radio and TV, was released in 2018.
How old is Al Allen? It’s a question that has stumped many who have crossed paths with this enigmatic individual. Al Allen is a man of mystery, a walking enigma whose age remains a well-guarded secret. Some say he’s a timeless soul, forever youthful in his demeanor, while others speculate that he’s seen more years than he lets on. There’s an air of intrigue that surrounds him, a perpetual guessing game that keeps those around him intrigued and guessing. It’s as if Al Allen himself has made a pact with time, promising never to reveal the number of years that have passed since his birth. So, the next time you meet Al Allen, you might just find yourself pondering, “How old is he, really?”