Howard was born in 1933 in Chicago, raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, and worked at times in Washington, D. C., Boston, Germany, Mexico and Montana. He has resided in Los Angeles since 1957 and in Hollywood since 1964.
He studied mathematics at the California Institute of Technology, psychology at George Washington University, and operations research, linguistics, anthropology and archaeology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
He enjoyed a thirty-five-year career in computers, from 1954 through 1989, starting at the federal Bureau of the Census (working with Univac I, Serial No 1, now in the Smithsonian) and continuing as a manager of programming at the RAND corporation, System Development Corporation and Planning Research Corporation. In February 1987 he was elected CEO and President of Telos Corporation, a national computer services firm.
He was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals, the IEEE Computer Society, the Operations Research Society of America and The Institute of Management Sciences.
Following his retirement in August 1989, Howard researched and published books on the genealogy of his Metcalfe and Oberwinder families, on the Randolphs of Virginia, and one entitled Forty North: Lineages of Some Early Settlers along the Fortieth Parallel. He is a member of the Metcalfe Society (of England), the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Dedham (Massachusetts) Historical Society, the Southern California Genealogical Society, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Association of Professional Genealogists. He is the author of a popular Macintosh genealogy program, Personal Ancestry Writer.
Since the 1950s Howard has had an avocational interest in the history of the City of Los Angeles, and has increased his collection of old books and maps on that subject over the years. He is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the UCLA Friends of Archaeology, the Historical Society of Southern California, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Los Angeles City Historical Society and Hollywood Heritage.
In another avocation, as a breeder and exhibitor of Siamese cats, he was a member of the Siamese Cat Fanciers of America and served as a member of the Siamese Breed Council of the Cat Fanciers' Association.
Howard's interests in history and genealogy come naturally to him. For Howard, the 1800s are very close in time . . .
His grandmother's uncle Tommie was killed in action in 1863, a week after Gettysburg, with the Jeff Davis Legion of the Mississippi Cavalry. (Tommie's great-grandfather Samuel was a Minuteman in the Revolution.)
Howard's cousin Paul (a first cousin thrice-removed whom a young Howard knew) had a brother who was killed with Custer in 1876 at the Little Bighorn.
Howard's great-great-grandmother Eliza (1842-1925) helped raise Howard's father, uncle and aunt, as well as his grandmother and great-grandmother. Howard has worn the signet ring which belonged to Eliza's husband James, a Major in the Union Army.
And one well-known man (John. D. Rockefeller, Sr.) was born in 1839, not long after Thomas Jefferson died, and died in 1937, not long after Howard was born illustrating how short is the history of our country.