Alvin “Al” Picker, 84, of Westbury, NY, formerly of Newark, Union, and West Orange, died May 27, 2016.
Mr. Picker was a sportswriter and tennis editor for The Star-Ledger. Writing sports for New Jersey’s largest newspaper since 1946, he covered all high school and professional sports throughout his career, concentrating on the rise of U.S. tennis, providing tournament stories, features, and columns until his retirement in 2005. He provided radio coverage early in his career and on-site coverage of Wimbledon, the French Open, the U.S. Open, the Davis Cup, and other local events. He shared press boxes with journalist and television sportscaster Bud Collins.
He received the New Jersey Sports Writers Association Award for Journalistic Achievement in 1997 and was inducted into the Eastern Tennis Writers Hall of Fame in 2011. He also received the Key to Newark City Hall from Mayor Sharpe James in 1990 for outstanding tennis coverage. He was named Writer of the Year in 1977 and 1983 by Tennis Week magazine and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association. He was a voting member of the media for over 20 years in selecting the annual recipients to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. For his entire journalism career, he worked with his brother, Gene, who predeceased him.
He was also an educator in the Newark public schools, finally serving as an administrator after a career of 39 years.
He was a graduate of Montclair State University.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anita; his son, Michael (Debbie); his daughter, Susan (Andrew) Lupu; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Services were held May 31 with arrangements by Gutterman’s, Woodbury, NY.