May 30, 1899 – January 23, 1988
Thelma Gray James graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1920. She joined the faculty of the College of the City of Detroit, forerunner of Wayne State University, in 1923, retiring from Wayne in 1967 as a pioneering folklorist. James shared various Detroit homes with her close partner of 40 years Marguerite Hicks.
Detroit Free Press, January 24, 1988