DETROIT (WWJ) – Former WWJ reporter and anchor Cliff Russell has died. Russell worked at WWJ in the mid-80s until 1994 when he became Detroit’s first African American press secretary to the mayor. He was appointed to the position by former Mayor Dennis Archer. Russell was 61.
Family members say he had a medical emergency while in Chicago for University of Detroit – Mercy.
Russell lived an extraordinarily big life serving most recently as the voice of Detroit Mercy men’s basketball.
He worked as a full-time lecturer at Wayne State University and a political analyst. In his college days, he had a stellar career with the Warriors. Russell was named to Wayne State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
In December 2002, Cliff Russell was named Senior Director of Communications for the Detroit Tigers, the first African-American to hold the position in Major League Baseball history.
Russell is survived by his wife and three sons, three daughters, two step-sons and seven grandchildren.
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