Overton James, educator and politician, died at 90

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54w54retftgdrOverton James, born on July 21, 1925 and died September 16, 2015, he was an educator and former Governor of the Chickasaw Nation.

After graduating from college, he taught school in Oklahoma.

He was first appointed Governor in 1963 and served until 1971.

He was then elected to that position and served until his last term ended in 1987.

In 1985, he was alleged to have accepted illegal kickbacks for construction contracts within the Chickasaw Nation.

He was indicted, pleaded guilty, and sentenced to a short prison term.

In 1963, John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States appointed James as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation.

He was then the youngest person ever to serve in that office.

Ultimately he served four consecutive two year terms as a Presidential appointee, then was elected to four consecutive four-year terms by the citizens of Chickasaw Nation.

He also has served as 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.

He was succeeded as Governor by Bill Anoatubby.

Overton James died at age 90 on September 16, 2015.

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