Use our advanced Hall of Fame Member Search to quickly find any Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame Member in our database!

Hall of Fame Member Search

Class of 1949


George Grisdale, Ph. D.

Award Winning School Counselor

Created Oakland County Academy for Counselor In-service

Executive Director of the SE Michigan Tennis Association

Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2014

George Grisdale graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1949. As a student, George was on the basketball team. Now it just happened that the basketball coach was also the tennis coach who needed players in the spring. The coach recruited George to play tennis, and as they say, the rest is history. George began a life long devotion to the game. He participated on the high school tennis team which took top honors in the second annual South Oakland County tennis tournament. He then went on to what is now Eastern Michigan University to play tennis and earn his degree in business administration and business education.

While teaching at Oak Park High School and coaching tennis, Mr. Grisdale earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Michigan. And at the age of 40 he put into practice the idea of life long learning by earning his Ph.D. in educational guidance and counseling from the University of Michigan.

He then left his position in Oak Park and took a position with the Oakland Intermediate School District. It was there that he established an “academy” to provide professional development for school counselors. Dr. Grisdale also introduced county school personnel to computer assisted programs to build schedules, issue transcripts, and keep attendance. He served as president of the Oakland Area Counselors Association, the Association for Measurement and Evaluation and the Michigan Personnel and Guidance Association. Dr. Grisdale also served on many national committees, and in 1998 he was awarded the Terry Hood Lifetime Service Award for his contributions to the counseling professions.

In 1991 George retired from Oakland Schools and became the executive director of the Southeastern Michigan Tennis Association. George has devoted many hours as an executive and as a volunteer to promote the game of tennis and to share his love for the game. He encourages youth and seniors to play and enjoy the game. George has been a volunteer at national, sectional and district tennis tournaments for over 20 years. He has manned the US Open Membership Booth in Flushing Meadows for over 15 years. Recently he was given the Mel Bergman Award by the Midwest Section of the United States Tennis Association. This award recognizes his “continuous and distinguished service as well as his unselfish and dedicated manner”.

Class of 1949


James C. Johnson

Active Community leader

Served on eight Royal Oak City Commissions

Actively supported Royal Oak Public Schools

Royal Oak resident since 1936

Inductee, Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 1999

James C. Johnson graduated from Royal Oak High School in June, 1949. While in high school his athletic interests included golf, swimming and football. He was a member of the 1948 Border Cities League Championship football team. He was also an active member in several high school clubs.

Mr. Johnson is a graduate of Detroit Institute of Technology and served as a senior accountant and office manager for the Royal Oak CPA firm of Clarence H. Johnson. James Johnson has shared his knowledge of finance and accounting by serving as treasurer and board member of many organizations including the local Baptist Church, the National Bank of Royal Oak, the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army and the YMCA of South Oakland county.

On countless occasions James C. Johnson has demonstrated his willingness to give of his time and expertise to improve the city of Royal Oak. He served as a city commission from 1966 to 1973 and again from 1988 to 1994. He was active in the campaign to establish a formal recycling program in the community.

His time, efforts and insights have been valuable to a wide range of other city projects. He chaired the planning commission and provided leadership in the creation and maintenance of the city's golf courses. He has aided in the development of the downtown area of Royal Oak which is now the metropolitan center for dining and entertainment. His efforts led to the improvement of city roads and the modernization of our fire department. James Johnson has given many hours of his time to the projects of the Royal Oak Kiwanis Club and had a perfect attendance record at their meeting for over 28 years.

Mr. Johnson was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1999.

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.

Members By Name