Allen Stross was born in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, where he majored in Commercial Art, he joined the U.S. Navy. When he returned from World War II, he used the G.I. Bill to attend Art Center as a Photography major. His professional experience included work at a department store portrait studio, wedding photography, commercial work, teaching university extension courses, and postcard production. He moved to Berkeley in 1979 and continued taking photographs into his 90s. Allen Stross passed away on January 18, 2017 at 93 years old.