Tom Henderson’s career spans a remarkable array of beats, roles and media platforms. He has become an expert in a variety of areas including sports, local news, business, science, venture capital and running. He also writes books on true crime. His work has earned more than 50 local and national journalism awards.
Starting as a copy boy at the Detroit Free Press with no training in journalism, his 47-year career includes work for the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, Michigan Runner Magazine, Renaissance Scene Magazine, Runner’s World Magazine, Running Times Magazine, Monthly Detroit, The Detroit News, Corporate Detroit Magazine, lcanonline, St. Martin’s Press and Small Times Magazine. Henderson continued reporting for Crain’s Detroit Business in retirement.
Henderson said his journalism career began one Friday when he called in sick to his job at the Uniroyal plant and walked the streets of downtown Detroit looking for a white-collar job. At the Free Press, “the receptionist in the city room laughed when I told her I had never worked for a newspaper and didn’t go to journalism school. She pointed out a man at the far end of the room who hired copyboys who, I found out, sharpened pencils, filled gluepots, pulled copy off the wire-service machines and ran errands for the reporters and editors.” The man told Henderson there were no openings, but someone quit right after Henderson’s visit and he had his start.
Henderson turns personal passions such as his dog Maddie, running, kayaking, and even recovering his stolen van into stories that win awards. His curiosity and integrity helped Henderson expose new industries, companies and jobs in Southeast Michigan by providing insightful information about those companies and the people behind them. His business journalism specialties include nanotechnology, microtechnology, venture capital, tech transfer, entrepreneurship and community banking.
Henderson mentored younger staffers in the newsroom. Those protegees are now leaders at places including CNBC and Wall Street Journal. He’s also taught advanced reporting classes at Oakland and Wayne State Universities.
Henderson has a degree in political science from Michigan State University.