- America and the Great War: 1914-1920 (1998) with Anne Sharpe Wells
- From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day: The American Armed Forces in World War II (1995) with Anne Sharpe Wells
- Refighting the Last War: Command and Crisis in Korea 1950-1953 (1992) with Anne Sharpe Wells
- A Time for Giants: The Politics of the American High Command in World War II (1987) with Anne Sharpe Wells
- The Years of MacArthur, Volume III (1986)
- Command Crisis: MacArthur and the Korean War (1982)
- The Years of MacArthur, Volume II: 1941-1945 (1974)
- The Years of MacArthur, Volume I: 1880-1941 (1974)
- South to Bataan, North to Mukden (1971)
- Antebellum Natchez (1968)
D. Clayton James was born in Winchester, Kentucky in 1931. His family moved to Natchez, Mississippi when James was a young child. He attended Natchez High School and graduated in 1949. He attended Southwestern College in Memphis, graduating in 1953. James married Erlene Downs in 1953, and the couple had four children in the following eleven years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1956.
From 1954 to 1960, James served in churches in Texas and Kentucky. He earned his master’s degree in 1959 at University of Texas in Austin and his doctoral degree in 1964 at the same school.
James taught history at Louisiana State University from 1961 to 1964. He then went to Mankato State College in Minnesota where he taught history in 1964 for one year. In 1965, James became a professor of history at Mississippi State University in Starkville, where he remained for twenty-three years and in 1978 became a Distinguished Professor. In 1977, James served as an adviser on the movie MacArthur for Universal Studios. He consulted on the BBC television series: The Commanders in 1973.
Jamese also held the Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvani,a and the John F. Morrison Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas. During that time, James was also a Harmon Lecturer at the U.S. Air Force Academy. In 1988 he moved to Lexington, Virginia, to become the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute uwhere he retired in 1996.
James published nine non-fiction books and authored many articles and chapters, primarily on World War II, the Korean War and their strategists. His most well-known work is a three-volume biography of General Douglas MacArthur. The third volume of The Years of MacArthur was awarded the Truman Book Award in 1986 and was nominated for both the Pulitzer and Parkman prizes.
In 1988, James became the John Biggs Chair in Military History at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, where he remained until he retired in 1996. James died in Moneta, Virginia, in 2004.
- Born on February 13, 1931
- 1949 – Graduated Natchez High School
- 1953 – Married Erlene Downs
- 1953 – Graduated Southwestern College
- 1954-60 Served as a minister and Naval Reserve chaplain
- 1955 – Daughter Dorris was born
- 1956 – Son Newell was born
- 1956 – Graduated Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
- 1959 – Earned an MA from University of Texas
- 1960 – Daughter Judith was born
- 1961 – Began teaching at Louisiana State University
- 1964 – Daughter Allie was born
- 1964 – Earned a PhD from University of Texas
- 1964 – Assistant Professor at Mankato State College
- 1965 – Professor at Mississippi State University
- 1968 – Published Antebellum Natchez
- 1971 – Published South to Bataan, North to Mukden
- 1973-74 – Consulted on the BBC TV series The Commanders
- 1976 – Served as technical advisor for the move MacArthur
- 1978 – Distinguished professor at Mississippi State University
- 1986 – Was awarded the Truman Book Award for the third volume of The Years of MacArthur
- 1987 – A Time for Giants published
- 1988 – Became John Biggs Chair in Military History at Virginia Military Institute
- 1992 – Refighting the Last War published
- 1995 – From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day published
- 1996 – Retired from Virginia Military Institute
- 1996 – Awarded Commander’s Award for Public Service
- 1998 – America and the Great War published
- 2004 – Passed away on August 4th