James Earl Jones

By: Gage Rogman

Early Life

The only child of Robert Earl and Ruth Connolly Jones, James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi. He hunted, fished and performed various farm chores. Jones also went to church and Saw his grandmother displays of holy rapture.

James Earl Jones was finally adopted by his grandparents and moved to rural MIchigan. It was hard to get used to his new surrounding and he developed a stutter and during grammar school he could only talk to himself or his family because he was embarrassed. It followed him through high school and was told he should memorize speeches and go to speech contests. James Earl Jones attended the university of Michigan and was going to major in medicine and take acting classes as a sideline. He would switch his major to theater.

After School

James Earl Jones graduated from the University of Michigan in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in drama. The ROTC recruited him in 1953 for two years of compulsory services. He spent most of his time in a rigorous ranger-training program in the Colorado mountains. Jones was set to re-enlist in 1955 after having some civilian life first.

James Earl Jones moved to New York City where his father was and enrolled into more acting classes. Two things helped him stay calm: If his acting fell through he could go back to the army and his tuition at the American Theater Wing was paid for by the G.I. bill.

Other facts

  • Most famously known for impressive roles for Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy and Mufasa in The Lion King
  • Commanding voice that says "This is CNN"
  • Received the JFK Centre Honour in December of 2002
  • First established celebrity to be on Sesame Street in 1969
  • Member of the NRA
  • FIrst African American to play the president (The Man) 1972
  • Republican
  • Auditioned for the role of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) the role went to Brock Peters