Princeton Alumni Weekly Logo

James R. Hilbert Jr. ’82

Published in May 10, 2006, issue

Jim Hilbert died unexpectedly at his home June 1, 2005.

Born and raised in East Lansing, Mich., Jim came to Princeton as a promising football player and track athlete. Classmates remember a boisterous and engaging character. As a friend, Jim was loyal and affectionate; as a competitor, he was tenacious. In 1985, Jim obtained a law degree from Thomas Cooley School of Law in Lansing, graduating third in his class. While in law school, he clerked for the Michigan attorney general.

After school Jim practiced as a member of the Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. Electing to stay in the Army Reserve, he held the rank of lieutenant colonel at the time of his death. From 1991 to 1994 he was a federal prosecutor in the Tampa Civil Division. He then developed an extensive trial practice in negligence and personal injury, including numerous actions against the federal government. Jim maintained his passion for physical fitness and sports throughout his life.

He is survived by daughters Chrissy and Caroline; his mother, Virginia Hilbert; brother Doug; and sisters Jennifer and Alex. The class extends its condolences to them and to Jim's many friends.

Donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Sparrow Foundation in Lansing (

The Class of 1982

Post a remembrance
2 Remembrances posted for James R. Hilbert Jr.

Marcia Metzger Says:

2013-01-14 15:24:30

So very sorry for your loss. I had the joy of spending time with Jim during his days at Princeton, and traveled back and forth from Connecticut to watch his games. Lots of laughs with him and his roommate Tim Yaggi. Jim was a great friend, companion, and great sports enthusiast, and he will always be remembered and have a special place in my heart. I am so terribly saddened for everyone's loss. He was just way too young.

Steve Coppola Says:

2014-02-04 14:52:17

I was running errands today, my mind wandering, and for some reason it landed on Jim, who I hadn't seen since high school. I decided to Google him and was saddened to find this. Jim and I played string bass next to each other at East Lansing (Mich.) High School. I was first chair and he was often second chair. I was the quiet, geeky dweeb and Jim was the handsome, outgoing, popular, All-American football star. On one occasion, there was a competition to determine seating in each section of the orchestra. Jim outplayed me and took the first chair. No doubt his competitive juices were flowing. Jim was always gracious, funny, and kind to me even though we didn't hang out with the same crowd. I admired everything about him and he deserved all the success he enjoyed in life.
Post a remembrance
James R. Hilbert Jr.
Enter the word as it appears in the picture below
By submitting a comment, you agree to PAW's comment posting policy.