Jim was an innovative, hard-driving executive who served as president of the CBS-TV network from 1959-65 and of M.G.M. from 1969-71. Subsequently, he continued in the entertainment business on the West Coast as an independent producer of films and TV programs. Under Jim's leadership, CBS harvested what were then the largest profits in TV history. Wall Street was awed by his golden touch.
Among the many program successes during Jim's tenure were The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. CBS led the other networks by a staggering nine million viewers. Jim's influence of his creative programming approach have continued to this day. Jim's career and achievements were widely reported on in the national press. At M.G.M., Jim converted the legendary film maker from deep indebtedness to solid profitability. Here again he was way ahead of his time as a corporate downsizer, achieved with strong and decisive management.
Jim came to Princeton from Exeter, where he starred in football and basketball. At Princeton, he played freshman basketball and was an end on the varsity football team. During WWII, Jim served as an Air Force test pilot in Alaska. He left the service as a major.
Jim's marriage to Phyllis Thaxter (star of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo) ended in a divorce. He never remarried. Jim is survived by a son, James W.; a daughter, Sykes; and three Princetonian brothers, Stever '43, George '45, and David '50. The class extends its sympathy to Jim's family.