James Grubbs Martin

64th Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1985 to 1993

Date Born: December 11, 1935

Date Died: TBD

Place Born: Savannah, GA

Place Buried: TBD

Residence: Davidson, NC

Occupation: Unknown


James Grubbs Martin was born on December 11, 1935 in Savannah, GA, the son of Arthur Morrison Martin and Mary Julia (Grubbs) Martin. After his parents moved to Winnsboro, SC, he attended Mt. Zion High School. He graduated from Davidson College in 1957 with a B.S. degree. .

On June 1, 1957, James Grubbs Martin married Dorothy "Dottie" Ann McAulay of Charlotte, NC; they have three children.

After receiving his doctorate in chemistry from Princeton University in 1960, he served as an associate professor of chemistry at his alma mater Davidson College until 1972.

In 1966, he was elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. He served for seven years, chairing the body from 1967 to 1968 and briefly in 1971. He was a President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

In 1972, James Grubbs Martin was elected to represent North Carolina from the 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he served six terms from January 3, 1973 to January 3, 1985. He served as a Ways and Means Committee member, and as a House Republican Research Committee chairman.

In the 1984 general election, James Grubbs Martin was elected by the people as the next Governor of North Carolina. He was re-elected in 1992, serving two four-year terms from January 5, 1985 to January 9, 1993. In proposing his Strategic Highway Corridor plan in 1987, whereby a four-lane highway would pass within 96% of the state’s residents, Gov. Martin stressed economic benefits. He forwarded the concept of a global air cargo industrial complex and held to his promise to see I-40 completed.

Other initiatives pursued by Gov. Martin's administration included campaigns against infant mortality and substance abuse, an accelerated prison construction, program, the Adopt-a-Highway program, the planting of wildflowers along the highways, aquaculture research, improved beach access, estuarine study projects, reinstituted passenger rail service, and an expanded film industry.

In 1993, James Grubbs Hunt retired from political life and became chairman of the board of the James Cannon Research Center of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. In 2012, he was appointed to lead an investigation into academic improprieties at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

James Grubbs Hunt is currently (2015) Senior Advisor of the firm, McGuireWoods Consulting.


James Grubbs Martin (born 11 December 1935) was a Republican governor of the state of North Carolina from 1985 to 1993.

Martin was born in Chatham County, Georgia, on December 11, 1935. He was subsequently raised in South Carolina.

Prior to being elected governor, Martin was a member of the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners. He served as professor of chemistry at Davidson College, after receiving his doctorate in chemistry from Princeton University in 1960.

His political career included service as Mecklenburg County Commissioner and as commission chairman. He was a president of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

He became US Representative in 1972, and served for six terms. He served as a Ways and Means Committee member, and as a House Republican Research Committee chairman. He became the first elected official to receive the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award, given by the American Chemical Society for outstanding public service by an American chemist.

When he was elected Governor, he became only the second North Carolina Republican governor to be elected in the twentieth century. He was part of a 28-year trend of Governors of North Carolina being named James, but he shocked all observers by having a father with a different name. During his term in office, he promoted education and North Carolina commerce. An avid train enthusiast, he was especially noted for advancing the cause of regional passenger rail in the state.

In 1992 he retired from political life and became chairman of the board of the James Cannon Research Center of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.


Martin, James Grubbs, a Representative from North Carolina; born in Savannah, Chatham County, Ga., December 11, 1935; graduated from Mt. Zion High School, Winnsboro, S.C., 1953; B.S., Davidson College, Davidson, N.C., 1957; Ph.D., Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., 1960; faculty, Davidson College, Davidson, N.C., 1960-1970; Mecklenburg County, N.C., Commissioner, 1966-1972; founder and first chairman, Centralina Regional Council of governments, 1966-1969; delegate, Republican National Convention, 1968; elected as a Republican to the Ninety-third and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1973-January 3, 1985); was not a candidate for reelection in 1984 but was elected Governor of North Carolina for the four-year term beginning January 5, 1985; is a resident of Lake Norman, NC.
James Grubbs Martin was born in Savannah, GA. He received a bachelor of science degree from Davidson College in 1957 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1960. From 1960 to 1972 he taught chemistry at Davidson College. In 1966 he bagan the first of three terms as Mecklenburg County Commissioner and served as chair. He also founded the nine-county Centralina Council of Governments. He served as its chair from 1968 to 1972. In 1970, he was elected President on the North Carolina Association of Regional Councils. From 1973 to 1984, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms. During his tenure, he chaired the House Republican Research Committee and served on the House Ways and Means Committee. He served as president of the Council of State Governments and chair of the Southern Regional Education Board, the Southern Growth Policies Board, and the Southern Technology Council. He was elected governor in November 1984 and re-elected in November 1988. Governor Martin's agenda addressed qualiity of life, better schools, better roads, better jobs, and a better environment for the people of the state.

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