James Crawford was born in 1942 in Madison County, Alabama, where he has been a life-long resident. He attended Council Training High School in Normal, Alabama, from 1956 to 1960. While at Council, James had the opportunity to play for Condredge Holloway, Sr. and after graduation Crawford signed a football scholarship with Lewis Crews at Alabama A & M University. James has the distinction of having won nine varsity letters in college; three letters in football, three letters in track and field, two letters in baseball, and one letter in basketball. He graduated, in 1964, from Alabama A & M University with a major in Political Science and minor in Government and Physical Education. James Crawford was the first black member of the Officials Association of the Alabama High School Athletic Association and has continued to be a member for 45 years. He has officiated football games, basketball games and has umpired both baseball and softball games and has done so at all levels of competition, from YMCA to Area, Regional, and State Tournaments. In 1997, he was the recipient of the City of Huntsville Community Leadership Award and the State of Alabama Distinguished Service Award. He has served as a Board Member of Habitat for Humanity and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Action Agency. He was a former advisor to the Huntsville Womens Softball League and was a District Commissioner, and the first black Commissioner, of Amateur Softball of America. He has been President of Edmonton Heights Civic Associations as well as President of Lee High Schools PTA. In addition, James has served as President of the Northeast Huntsville Community Improvement Organization. In 2001, the City of Huntsville named a ball park in his honor, the James C. Crawford Ball Park. James said, I have been very fortunate to have the support of a loving family and many supporting and knowledgeable friends, and the opportunity to associate with inspiring and encouraging individuals, starting with my high school coach, the late Condredge Holloway, Sr. to my college coach, the late Lewis Crews. In my officiating career, I have been most fortunate to preside over contests involving some of the most talented athletes in the state of Alabama. I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Bubba Scott, former Alabama High School Athletic Association Executive Director, and administrators across the state for having confidence in my skills and fairness.