Our objective was to identify the main clinical and epidemiological features of ALS in a large cohort of African American (AA) patients and compare them to Caucasian (CA) patients in a clinic-based population. We retrospectively identified 207 patients who were diagnosed with ALS based on the revised El Escorial criteria (60 AA and 147 CA subjects). Patients were seen in the Neuromuscular Division at the University Medical Center. We compared epidemiological and clinical features of these two groups, focusing on age of onset and diagnosis, clinical presentation and survival. Results showed that AA patients had a significantly younger age of disease onset (55 years vs. 61 years for CA, p = 0.011) and were diagnosed at an earlier age (56 years vs. 62 years, p = 0.012). In younger ALS patients (< 45 years of age), there was a significant difference in gender frequency, with females predominating in the AA population and males in the CA population (p = 0.025). In a multivariable Cox proportional hazard model, survival rates were not different between the groups. In both groups, survival significantly increased with younger age. In conclusion, AA patients presented at an earlier age, but there was no difference in survival compared to CA patients. A gender reversal occurred in younger ALS patients, with AA patients more likely to be female and CA patients more likely to be male. © 2013 Informa Healthcare.