Jim graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1962. He served as an Infantry Officer after graduating from Officer Candidate School, Ranger School, and Airborne School. Jim served three years of active duty in the U.S. Army, including 13 months with the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. After leaving active duty, Jim joined the 20th Special Forces, Alabama National Guard.
Jim received his Masters degree in social work from the University of Alabama (1970) as well as a Masters in Public Administration (1971). Three years in Athens, Georgia resulted in a Doctor of Public Administration (1974) from the University of Georgia. This was followed by four years of teaching social welfare administration at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Social Work.
From 1978 to 2003, Jim worked in various administrative positions in the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee. During his last seven years before retirement, he was the Administrative Officer for Emergency Operations for the Florida Department of Health. One of his primary responsibilities was to write the FEMA Grants for the Department of Health.
Jim married Linda Barron of Troy, Alabama, in 1968. A graduate of Auburn, she retired as an elementary school assistant principal in 2005. Jim and Linda have two children, Amy and John. Amy is an interior designer and has developed a successful Internet business designing and selling personalized birthday party supplies for children. Amy and her son Cole live in Auburn. Amy is also an Auburn graduate.
John graduated from Auburn in Electrical Engineering, the University of South Alabama Medical School and the University of Mississippi Emergency Medicine Residency Program. John served as a flight surgeon with the 185th Aviation Brigade, Balad, Iraq in 2004, and is the inventor of the Abdominal Aorta Tourniquet (AAT), which was selected as one of the top ten inventions of the year by Popular Science magazine in June 2012 (http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-06/amazing-tourniquet-invention-saves-two-lives). He is currently (2015) an ER doctor at Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham. He and his wife Julie have two children, Caleb and Katie.