Gov. Overton James
Overton James (Indian name - Itoahtubbi) was born July 21, 1925, in Bromide, Oklahoma.
In 1963 Overton James was appointed the 27th Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, the youngest ever to hold that position. He has combined unselfish service to his own tribe with service to all American Indians. He is past president (for four terms) of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, president of the Choctaw-Chickasaw Confederation, past chairman of the State Indian Affairs Commission, trustee of the National Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, member of the Indian Education Subcommittee of the National Council on Indian Opportunity, and member of the National Congress of American Indians.
The son of Rufus (Cub) James and Vinnie May Seely James, both enrolled Chickasaws. He was raised in Wapanucka, Oklahoma, where he graduated from high school in 1942. After two and one-half years in the United States Navy, James returned to Oklahoma and resumed his education at Southeastern State College in Durant. Graduating with a B.A. degree in education in 1949, he taught and coached for ten years in schools at Ravia, Caddo, and Shattuck. In 1955 he earned a Master's degree from Southeastern. At the time of his induction, he recently retired as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation after serving 24 years. He served four consecutive two-year terms appointed by the President of the United States and four consecutive four-year terms elected by the Chickasaw citizens.
Governor James and his wife, Evelyn, are the parents of one daughter, Ranell.