Davis, born in Joplin, Missouri, graduated from Topeka High School in 1944 and served a year and a half in the army. After World War II, he attended Washburn University, Columbia University and Colorado College. While at Washburn, he was initiated into the Kansas Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta. He received a medicine degree from the University of Kansas in 1954.
His original barbecue sauce started with only 5 ingredients. While Muschup and Dilled Muschup sold well, the barbecue sauce was the most popular selling 3,000 cases of it in Kansas City. He changed its name to KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce.
In 1986, he sold the sauce to the Kingsford division of the Clorox company, which took the barbecue sauce nationwide. Presently it is claimed by the manufacturer to be the number 1 selling premium barbecue sauce in the country. He retained rights to use the sauce at restaurants he was to develop. Of the seven that eventually opened, only the one in Overland Park, Kansas remains, but is no longer owned by the Davis family.
Wild About Bar-B-Q Kansas City Style(1997) (ISBN 0-925175-11-0) All American Bar-B-Q (1988) All About Bar-B-Q Kansas City Style (1985)