Alumni Moments in History

  • Tom Lea, class of 1924, was an American muralist, illustrator, LIFE artist correspondent during WWII, novelist, historian and easel painter. A sketch he drew in theater class during his days at El Paso High School was recently valued at $7,000 on Antiques Roadshow.

  • Paul W. Klipsch, an early 1920’s graduate, was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1983 and into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in 1997. He invented the Klipschorn speaker.  This is the only speaker in the world in continuous production, relatively unchanged, for over 65 years.

  • The Navy destroyer ship USS William D. Hawkins and Hawkins Street in El Paso are named after William D. Hawkins, class of 1930.

  • Jake Ehrlich, stood 8 feet 6 inches tall and once held the title of ‘Tallest Man in the World.

  • Dick Savitt, class of 1945, is a Wimbledon and Australian Open Champion. Mr. Savitt was the 2nd ranked tennis player in the world at the time but ranked No. 1 by the New York Times. He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. He was honored as EPHS Outstanding Ex for 2014.

  • Did you know that head basketball coach C.D. Jarvis coached Cowboys legend Tom Landry while coaching in Mission, Texas before coming to EPHS in 1944?

  • F. Murray Abraham, class of 1958, won an Academy Award for his role in Amadeus.

  • Actress Lupe Ontiveros, class of 1960, has appeared in Desperate Housewives, Charlie’s Angels and Selena.

  • Musicians, Jim Ward, class of 1994, is  a member of the group Sparta and Grammy award winning musician Cedric Bixler-Zavala, from the group Mars Volta,  are both alumni.

  • George Hodge, class of 1966, was the first African American athlete at EPHS; Mr. Hodge was an All-District performer in football, basketball and baseball.  The new EPHS baseball field is named after him.

  • Class of 1980 grad Chris Aguirre not only designed the former center logo of C.D. Jarvis gym floor (but has animated Puss N’ Boots from the Shrek movie series and has also been a part of works such as Tiny Toons Adventures, Space Jam and Eight Crazy Nights. 

  • Although not a graduate, Wade Phillips, former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, attended EPHS in 1962 while his father Bum Phillips was the head coach at Texas Western College.

  • Bobby Griffing, class of 1987, is a top chef and has cooked all around the world from New York to Tokyo and was once voted the Chef of the Year in Las Vegas.

  • Journalist Ruben Salazar, class of 1946, is also a Tiger. Mr. Salazar was the voice of the Chicano movement in California before his mysterious death.  

  • El Paso’s legendary sports writer Ray Sanchez is class of 1948

  • Marc McCall, class of 1986, was a gifted basketball player who had a great career at UTEP and then went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

  • Jim Paul, class of 1962, former owner of the El Paso Diablos, changed the game of minor league baseball.

  • Beto O’Rourke, U.S. Representative for Texas 16th District did not graduate from EPHS, but attended and considers El Paso High School his alma mater.

  • Several scenes for the 2006 film Glory Road depicting the national championship title run of the 1966 Texas Western Miners were shot on the EPHS campus.

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