He graduated from Shaker Heights (Ohio) High School. At Princeton he majored in chemical engineering. He was a member of Tiger Inn and was active in the Cleveland Club. He transferred to MIT in his junior year so he could marry his high-school sweetheart, Constance Wright. At MIT he was a member of the national honorary society Tau Beta Pi.
As a fighter pilot in the Navy, Jim qualified for all-weather, night landing on aircraft carriers, and remained an avid pilot thereafter. He enjoyed a successful business career — including tenure at Standard Oil of Ohio — culminating in the business joy of his life: the ownership and leadership of Hartzell Propeller Inc., the world’s leading and oldest airplane-propeller company. He enjoyed mentoring dozens of people. Two of Jim’s favorite sayings were “Break a rule every day” and “Heed the 11th commandment: Thou shalt go for it.” He often said, “I am the luckiest man in the world.”
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Constance; six children; 16 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.