Cofield in 1956
|34th President of the United States|
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1957
|Vice President||Nathaniel Taylor|
|Preceded by||Harry S. Truman|
|United States Senator from North Carolina|
March 4, 1931 – December 15, 1952
|Preceded by||Furnifold M. Simmons|
|Member of the North Carolina Senate|
|Born||February 2, 1896|
|Died||June 17, 1963|
Wilmington, North Carolina
|Spouse(s)||Helen B. Reading|
|Alma mater||Queens University of Charlotte|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1917-1919|
|Unit||19th Field Artillery, 5th Brigade, 5th Infantry Division|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
As president, Cofield was a considered a "soft-interventionist"; maintaining the war against North Korea, and escalating conflict in Indochina. He was also an ardent southern conservative, being ambivalent to the system of segregation, as well as being a supporter of Joseph McCarthy (at least in the early months of his term). His early popularity waned towards the mid-1950's due to public dissatisfaction with his southern conservative, interventionist policies, as well as the Democratic party's long control of the presidency (twenty-four years at the end of Cofield's term), and during the 1956 election, the incumbent lost against the former governor of Indiana, Richard Morten.
Early life and service
James Ronald Cofield was born at 307 Guy St, Roanoke, Alabama on February 2, 1896 to Johnson K. Cofield (1863-1935), a businessman/public speaker, and Cathrine Barr-Peterson (1867-1917). Johnson was the second child to the Alabamian politician (governor of the state between 1878 and 1882) Arthur Earl Cofield (1832-1901) and Mary Attebery (1831-1868).
The fourth child in the family, James' brothers were Andrew Wheeler Cofield (1886-1950), a prominent Alabamian politician during the 1920's, Douglas Kelly Cofield (1889-1906), who drowned at the age of 16, and David Peterson Cofield (1891-1945), a public speaker and colonel within the U.S. Army.
In 1901, following the passing of Arthur Cofield, Johnson moved his family to more comfortable accomodations in the city of Charolette, North Carolia. During this time, James attended a number of public schools in the Concord area, as was known to achieve average grades. His later high school education was undertaken in first the Cary High School from 1910 to 1911, then the Concord High School from 1911 to 1913. A year later, James was enrolled into the Queens University of Charlotte, the same university two of his older brothers were enrolled to. It would not be until 1918 in which he would graduate with a Major in Business Administration.
World War I
In May of 1918, James Cofield was drafted into the U.S. Army, and transported to a military camp in Wilmington following a successful examination and preliminary training. James' brother Arthur had already enlisted by this time, as he had joined the The Citadel, a state military college, in 1909, and had graduated five years later, slightly before the beginning of the war. Arthur would later join the 120th Infantry Regiment of the North Carolina Army National Guard, being transported to Europe in the winter of 1917.