Frank Cyril James

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Frank Cyril James
Principal of McGill University
In office
Preceded by Lewis Williams Douglas
Succeeded by Rocke Robertson
Personal details
Born (1903-10-08)October 8, 1903
London, England
Died May 3, 1973(1973-05-03) (aged 69)

Frank Cyril James (October 8, 1903 – May 3, 1973) was a Canadian academic and principal of McGill University from 1939 to 1962.


Born in London, England, he won a Sir Ernest Cassel Travelling Scholarship that allowed him to study at the University of Pennsylvania in 1922, where he received his Ph.D. In 1927, he became assistant professor in the Wharton School of Business.

In 1938 he had published the two-volume The Growth of Chicago Banks ( Harper & Bros.), a masterful history of banking in America's second most important banking center.

In 1939, he became the head of the commerce department at McGill University. After becoming friends with the Chancellor, Sir Edward Beatty, he was appointed principal and vice-chancellor in January 1940 and served until 1962. From 1941 he was on the original standing committee of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles.

In 1941 he was appointed to head the Dominion Government's Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, serving until the fall of 1943 when the Committee was terminated.

In 1947, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan.

He died in England in 1973.


Advisory Committee on Reconstruction, Report, September 24, 1943. Stanley Frost (1991). The Man in the Ivory Tower: F. Cyril James of McGill. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-0803-1.  Marlene Shore, THE SCIENCE OF SOCIETY: SOCIOLOGY AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY, 1918-1939, Phd Dissertation, University of Toronto, 1984.