George James was born in Summerton, South Carolina, on December 24, 1927, the son of John Evans James and Myrtle Allen James. He graduated from Summerton High School in 1945 and was a graduate of The Citadel in the Class of 1949. He went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree at the University of South Carolina in 1952.
George James entered the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and served his country on active duty until 1960. He then served in the Reserves for a number of years and retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel. In 1960 Mr. James returned to Sumter and began the practice of law with Henry B. “Punch” Richardson. The two men practiced together in the firm of Richardson and James for over 35 years. They were later joined in the practice of law by Henry B. Richardson, Jr. and Thomas E. Player, Jr.
Mr. James was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the South Carolina Defense Attorney’s Association, the American Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, and a member of the Board of Commissions on Grievance and Discipline and the Judicial Qualification Commission. He was a past president of the Sumter County Bar Association.
In 1974 Mr. James returned to his beloved Citadel where he was selected to serve on the Board of Visitors. He served on the Board until 1992, serving as chairman in 1981 through 1987.
On November 7, 1952, he married his wife of 46-1/2 years, Ren Frew. They had three children, John E. James III, George Coggin James, Jr. and Rosemary James.