James Cofield
Joh Beljke-Peterson at Desk
Cofield in 1956
34th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1957
Vice President Nathaniel Taylor
Preceded by Harry S. Truman
Succeeded by TBD
United States Senator from North Carolina
In office
March 4, 1931 – December 15, 1952
Preceded by Furnifold M. Simmons
Succeeded by TBD
Member of the North Carolina Senate
In office
Personal details
BornFebruary 2, 1896
Roanoke, Alabama
DiedJune 17, 1963
Wilmington, North Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Helen B. Reading
Alma materQueens University of Charlotte
ReligionSouthern Baptist
SignatureJames Cofield Signature.png
Military service
Nickname(s)Jim Blue
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchFlag of the United States Army United States Army
Years of service1917-1919
RankSergeant Sergeant
Unit19th Field Artillery, 5th Brigade, 5th Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War I
James Ronald Cofield (February 2, 1896 - June 17, 1963) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1957. A Southern Democrat from Alabama, he grew up in North Carolina, rising through the ranks of state government, eventually becoming Senator for that state. Following his 1950 speech on the Senate floor in favour of the war in Korea, Cofield was thrust into the national spotlight, later becoming a major candidate for Democrats in the 1952 presidential election, and eventually achieving electoral victory as the party's nominee.

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. 

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