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James R. Compton ’44

Published in July 19, 2006, issue

Jim died March 18, 2006, in Tiburon, Calif.

He was a widely honored philanthropist, whose generosity and service encouraged world peace, preserving the environment, and human rights. These included a $600,000 gift to Princeton in 1982 from the Compton Foundation Inc., of which Jim was president. The foundation was begun by his parents, Randolph P. Compton '15 and the former Dorothy Danforth, in honor of his younger brother, John Parker Compton '47, who was killed in World War II. Another brother was the late William D. Compton '41.

Jim prepped at Hotchkiss. At Princeton he roomed with Ed Carter, was on freshman crew and ran varsity track, earned an economics degree, and was a member of Whig-Clio, Westminster Society, and Tower Club.

Jim led a Marine platoon onto Iwo Jima on the second invasion day.

Originally a land developer, Jim also served as chairman of the board of the Fund for Peace, and was a board member of World Learning Inc. and River Network.

Jim's first wife, Beverly, died in 1980. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; a twin sister, Ann Stephens; sons Dan, Randy, and Marshall; and three grandchildren. His cousins include William H. Danforth '48 and John C. Danforth '58. Our condolences go to them all.

The Class of 1944

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