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John Sharpe James


South Ward Councilman John S. James

Contact: (973) 733-3753

John James was born on July 19, 1968 and grew up in the South Ward of Newark, New Jersey, where he still resides. Major James attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, Morehouse College; where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, in 1990 and Rutgers School of Law – Newark; where he received a Juris Doctorate in Law in 1995.

Mr. James joined the United States Army Reserves in Georgia as an enlisted soldier in 1986 during his first semester of college. He went on to join R.O.T.C his junior year and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant Infantry officer by the New Jersey Army National Guard in 1991. John went onto complete numerous Infantry Officer training courses to include U.S. Army Airborne School and become a Paratrooper. As a Major in the New Jersey Army National Guard, James served six (6) months active duty for Desert Storm in 1990 and one (1) year active duty for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan from 2007-08.

While in Afghanistan, Major James led a 13 man combat team and was wounded when blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) set by enemy forces. Major John James received a Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and numerous other awards for his deployment. He retired in October 2009, with a total of 23 ½ years of duty in the United States Army.

On June 18, 2008, John was presented with a Resolution by the Newark City Council for his military service as a Newark resident. On November 8th, 2013, John Sharpe James was elected to the Newark City Council as an At-At-Large member.

On May 13, 2014, Councilman James was Re-elected to Councilman of Newark’s South Ward. John currently serves as the Security and Emergency Operations Director of Essex County Hospital in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.


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