Class of 1949
David E. Davis, Jr.
Editor and Publisher, Car and Driver Magazine, 1962-1967, 1976-1985
Founder, Automobile Magazine
IMPA Purdy Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999
IAMC Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999
Named one of five most important automotive journalists of the 20th century
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2001
David E. Davis Jr. was born in Kentucky. His family moved to Michigan and he graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1949. While in high school he participated in drama productions and served as President of the Hi-Y Club.
David E. did not hone his talents in formal college classrooms. He chose rather to learn from first hand experiences and life's encounters. He described himself as a "self made character with encyclopedic knowledge and unparalleled enthusiasm."
His love for cars and adventure led him to California and sports car races. However, his racing career was cut short by a very serious accident. Although the accident significantly reduced his face, it did not diminish his mind nor his spirit. For the next 45 years David E. Davis demonstrated his creative talents, his love for life and his passion for all things automotive. He worked in advertising for Road & Track magazine, edited Car and Driver magazine and in August, 1985, he launched his own publication, Automobile Magazine. Mr. Davis also spent extensive time as an executive and Creative director with the advertising firm of Campbell-Ewald. There his work resulted in several national awards for excellence in advertising. One winning ad that many will remember was the commercial that linked "hot dogs, baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet."
David E. Davis was named one of the five most important automotive journalists of the Twentieth Century and was given two Lifetime Achievement Awards; one by the International Automotive Media Conference and one by the International Motor Press Association. The awards may have been premature, because at the age of seventy David E. began a new job developing automotive materials of the Internet for the PRIMEDIA publishing empire.
Mr. Davis was regarded as one of the best story tellers in America and is a celebrated speaker and writer. His knowledge of automobiles and his direct style have resulted in several invitations from national news shows. His TV appearances include Meet the Press, Sixty Minutes, 20/20 and the Larry King Show. His book, Thus Spake David E., contains many stories filled with wisdom, humor and a passion for life that is not squandered. David E. Davis was the Keynote Speaker at the 2001 Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony when he was inducted.