James Allen Graham

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James Allen Graham
NC Politician Jim Graham.jpg
Jim Graham in 1992
13th North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
In office
July 19, 1964 – January 2001[1]
Appointed by Terry Sanford
Preceded by Lynton Y. Ballentine
Succeeded by Meg Scott Phipps
Personal details
Born (1921-04-27)April 27, 1921
Cleveland, North Carolina
Died November 20, 2003(2003-11-20) (aged 82)
Political party Democratic[1]
Spouse(s) Helen Ida Kirk (October 30, 1942 - her death 1999)
Alma mater North Carolina State University, B.S., (Agricultural Education) 1942.
Nickname(s) Jim

James Allen Graham, (April 27, 1921 – November 20, 2003) was a North Carolina teacher and politician who served as the thirteenth North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture.[2]

Early life[edit]

Graham was born on April 7, 1921 to James Turner and Laura Blanche Allen Graham in Cleveland, North Carolina.[1][2] Graham was raised in Rowan County, North Carolina on a 250-acre farm where the family raised cotton, cattle and grain.[3]


Graham graduated from Cleveland High School in 1938, where he played on the High School football team.[1] In 1942 Graham graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education[4] from North Carolina State College.[2]

Family life[edit]

Jim Graham married Helen Ida Kirk, on October 30, 1942, they had two daughters, Alice Kirk Graham, and Laura Constance Graham.[2]

Commissioner of Agriculture[edit]

On July 19, 1964 Graham was appointed North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, by Governor Terry Sanford, to fill the unexpired term of the late Lynton Y. Ballentine. Graham was elected Commissioner of Agriculture in November 1964 and reelected eight times.[1][2]



  1. ^ a b c d e Wineka, Mark (November 22, 2000). "Jim Graham: After 36 years, agriculture commissioner steps aside". The Salisbury Post. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "RESOLUTION 2005-25" (PDF). North Carolina General Assembly. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Yancy, Cecil H., Jr. (November 26, 2003). "'Sodfather,' Jim Graham, dies at 82". Southeast Farm Press. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ NCSU Libraries Special Collections

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lynton Y. Ballentine
13th North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
July 19, 1964 – January 2001
Succeeded by
Meg Scott Phipps