Judge James Marshall ‘‘Jim’’ Sprouse (December 3, 1923-July 3, 2004) was born in Williamson. He was educated at St. Bonaventure College and at Columbia University law school, where he received his law degree in 1949. He studied international law as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bordeaux in 1950. He served in the army infantry during World War II. He was assistant general counsel for the Displaced Persons Administration in the Truman administration and served with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1952 to 1957. He practiced law from 1957 to 1972.
Sprouse established a record of public service as a reform-minded liberal. He was elected chairman of the state Democratic Party in January 1965 and served until 1968, when he ran for governor, losing to Republican Arch A. Moore by 12,785 votes. He was elected to the state Supreme Court of Appeals in 1972 and resigned August 27, 1975. He was a candidate for governor again in 1976 but lost the Democratic primary to eventual governor Jay Rockefeller. Sprouse was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as a judge of the 4th Circuit United States Court of Appeals in 1979. He took senior status on October 31, 1992, and retired from the court in 1995. Sprouse served as state chairman of Charlotte Pritt’s 1996 campaign for governor. He divided his last years between Charleston and Monroe County.
This Article was written by Tom D. Miller
Last Revised on October 29, 2010