ASL was founded in 1951 by Stephen Eckard, an American journalist and teacher, who served as Headmaster for 20 years. The School began with 13 students in Eckard's flat in Knightsbridge. Today, we are more than 100 times the size with 1,350 students.
ASL had nearly 20 addresses, including Hans Place, Knightsbridge; the Working Men's College, Camden; York Terrace, Regent's Park; Gloucester Gate; Grosvenor Square. We've been in St. John's Wood since 1971.
ASL's current facility was dedicated in 1971 by the Rt. Hon. Mrs. Margaret Thatcher MP, then Secretary of State for Education and Science.
The first issue of the high school newspaper, The Standard, was published in 1974. The middle school newspaper Quoi de Neuf printed its first copy in November of 1987 and changed its name to The Scroll in 1993.
In 1974, Elton John performed to a standing-room-only crowd in the ASL gym. (The concert was open to the public and Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson attended the show. She was 14 years old at the time.)
US presidents Truman, Reagan, Clinton and Obama have met with ASL students and parents during visits to London.
The Head of School's home is called Bruce House, named after US Ambassador David K. E. Bruce, who was instrumental in helping ASL secure the property in St. John's Wood. More recently, the School purchased the other half of the previous privately held residence in the spring of 2010. Currently, campus expansion is underway.
Part of the Chiltern Line railway from Marylebone to High Wycombe and Oxford runs underneath the School about 2m (6ft 6ins) below the floor of the Blue Gym. The tunnel runs roughly north from the corner of Waverley Place and Grove End Road, under the Blue Gym, the School Center Foyer and part of the Lower School, and then out under the Marlborough playground.
ASL has more than 15,000 alumni living in 77 countries.