The Young King – James E. Simpson

James Edward Simpson  U.S. Marine Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, SC  circa 1943
James Edward Simpson
U.S. Marine
Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, SC
circa 1943

In honor of my late grandfather’s birthday, I wanted to share about his life and his passion of living in service to others.

James Edward Simpson, who was born on November 28, 1922 to Josephine Martin Simpson and Roosevelt Simpson in Uvalda, Georgia, passed away peacefully in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 5, 2016 surrounded by his loving family.

James enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at the age of 18 and served for four years during World War II becoming one of the first Black Sergeants in the USMC, serving in Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, SC during the 40s. After his return from war, he started learning and mastering the game of golf. He competed in golf tournaments in Canada, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the historic Clearview Golf Club. James won over 40 golf tournaments and trophies throughout his golfing years.

In 1964, Mr. Simpson relocated to Florida with his family and launched a successful career with RCA Electronics which lasted for 8 years. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Mr. Simpson was a member of the Fairview Golf Club, competed in several and won 4 local tournaments in the 60s. He was one of the first Blacks to run for City Commissioner in West Palm Beach, Florida, during the 60s leading the way to diversity and representation for Blacks in local politics and civic engagement. In the early 70s, he opened Crown TV & Electronics in West Palm Beach. At Crown, he managed staff electricians, servicemen and a booming record shop for nearly 10 years. He also used Crown as the headquarters for the Democratic Party and ‘Get Out the Vote’ campaigns. Later, while close to 70 years old, Mr. Simpson successfully designed and created his own computer for personal use from hard drive to mainframe. While in his 80s, Mr. Simpson served teaching SeniorNet courses at the West Palm Beach Library and as an AmeriCorps Legacy member providing respite care for other seniors.

In 2011, Mr. Simpson was presented by the African American Golfers Hall of Fame as an Legacy Awardee for his exceptional skill as a golfer and a pioneer who broke many barriers for Blacks on golf courses around the world. He was an extraordinary man, father, grandfather and pioneer who will be missed by all of his family and loved ones.

Download his complete biography here: