Allen James Wilcox was born on 30 September 1946 in Columbus, OH. He studied medicine at the University of Michigan, graduated in 1973, and after a rotating internship, he completed a master’s degree in maternal and child health (1976) and a PhD in epidemiology (1979) at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. After graduation, he went to work at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, one of the US National Institutes of Health) in Durham, NC, where he has spent his career. He developed a research program in reproductive and perinatal epidemiology, a relatively unexplored area at the time. His studies include the early pregnancy study, which documented the extent of subclinical pregnancy loss in humans and established the fertile days of a woman’s menstrual cycle. He served as the Chief of the Epidemiology Branch from 1991 to 2001, and as Editor-in-Chief of the journal EPIDEMIOLOGY from 2001 to 2014. His textbook, Fertility and Pregnancy—An Epidemiologic Perspective, was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. He was elected to the American Epidemiological Society in 1989, and served as its president in 2003. He also served as president of the Society of Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiological Research (1996) and the president of the Society of Epidemiological Research (1998). He holds adjunct teaching appointments at the University of North Carolina, Harvard University, and the University of Bergen (Norway), which awarded him an honorary doctoral degree in 2008.