James W. Cooper was born June 13, 1915 at Russellville, Franklin County, Alabama. He is the son of Leonard and Ella (Greenhill) Cooper. He enjoyed the blessings that come to a large family through the companionship of two brothers and five sisters. At an early age he moved with his parents to Birmingham. He was educated in the public schools of the city, graduated from high school in June of 1933, after which he became associated with the United States Steel Corporation. His employment with the corporation spans three decades. After a romantic courtship, he married Ruth Harper (of Russellville) in Sheffield on March 10, 1936. They are the-parents of two daughters, Mrs. Norma Jean Hathcox and Mary Ella Cooper. They are the proud grandparents of four lovely Hathcox children; Donna Jean, Cindy Jo, Cathy and Donald Wilson.
J. W. and his entire family are active members of Hunter Street Baptist Church where he has served as an official of the Men’s Bible Class.
Grand Master Cooper was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Fairview Lodge No. 644, F & A M on July 3, .1945, passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on August 7, 1945 and raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason on September 18, 1945. He was appointed Junior Steward June of 1946, elected Junior Warden in June, 1947, thence to Senior Warden and was elected and installed as Worshipful Master of Fairview Lodge No. 644 in June of 1949. He was elected Junior Grand Warden November, 1963.
He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in 1954. He was Exalted in Mineral City Chapter No. 101, on May 8, 1965, Greeted in Sam Thompson Council No. 43, R&SM on May 8, 1965 and Knighted in Cyrene Commandery No. 10 on May 15, 1965. He was initiated in Mary Echols Chapter Order of Eastern Star, October 18, 1946, and served as Worthy Patron during 1947- 1948 and 1959-1960. He is a member of Dinar Grotto, having been initiated in 1963. On December 3, 1963, he was initiated and became a member of Zamora Temple A.A.O.N.M.S.
Serving as Grand Master, J. W. will climax a notable Masonic career. His unsurpassed love and devotion for the Fraternity Will be his hallmarks. We look forward to an enthusiastic and capable administration.