Longtime Detroit media personality Cliff Russell dies at 61

Detroit radio host and community activist Cliff Russell has died at the age of 61.

Russell had worked in the Detroit media for more than 35 years in several roles including news reporter, anchor, talk-show host, columnist, political analyst and more. Russell worked at WWJ in the mid-1980s until 1994 when he was appointed press secretary by former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.  For several years, Cliff Russell hosted “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television.

He has won several state, local and national awards during his time on Detroit radio and TV.

Since 2016, Russell had been the voice of the Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team and hosted his self-titled show on WFDF-AM Radio.

A graduate of Wayne State University, he also was a lecturer there, had worked as a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and was the first African-American Senior Director of Communications in Major League Baseball when he started in the role in 2002.

Russell is survived by his wife Charisa, six children, two stepsons, seven grandchildren and three brothers.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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