editor, Royal Oak Tribune
A replica of Royal Oak, complete with Main Street, can be found in Grant Howell’s den. Constructed by Howell, the scaled-down Royal Oak is representative of the same city he helped to build during his journalism career. “I think you could make a case that the sense of community that exists in the southeast Oakland County area, around Royal Oak, was a creation of his,” said Rudolph Difazio, reporter, managing editor (1960-1980).
Howell was born in 1915 in Appleton, Wisconsin. He moved to Michigan 14 years later, where he graduated from Berkley High (1932) and the University of Michigan (1936). Joining The Daily Tribunein 1937, Howell remained there for more than 40 years. He became city editor two years after beginning at the daily publication. After returning from a 22-month stint with the U.S. Army during World War II, Howell served as managing editor, a post he held for 25 years.
He was named editor of the newspaper in 1970 and retired nine years later. Reporters remember Howell for writing on the auto beat, being a leader in coverage and having a strict editorial manner. Over the course of his career, Howell received numerous awards including: Michigan Press Photographers Association “Editor of the Year” (1965); Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter Award, (1979); and a series of seven “Special Tribute” awards from the Michigan Legislature. He was president of the Michigan AP Editorial Association (1965) and founding member of the Detroit Press Club (1969).