JIM NANCE MC CORD was born in Unionville, Tennessee. He became a traveling salesman at the age of seventeen and went on to co-partner the Marshall Gazette, ultimately becoming its sole owner and publisher. He was also a well-known auctioneer of livestock and real estate. He was a member of the Marshall County Court from 1915 to 1942 and Mayor of Lewisburg from 1917 until 1942. He served as an elector for the state-at-large presidential ticket of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940. In 1942 he was elected without opposition to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving until his election as governor in 1944. During his first two years in office, McCord secured larger appropriations for Tennessee’s public schools. He was also instrumental in securing a two-percent state sales tax in 1947. Nonetheless, unfavorable public reaction to the sales tax and labor opposition to his approval of a “right to work” law led to his defeat for a third Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1948. After leaving office, he served as a member of the Tennessee Constitutional Convention of 1953. He was appointed commissioner of Conservation by Governor Frank Clement in 1953. In 1958 he ran again for governor, this time as an Independent, but was defeated by the Democratic nominee. He died in Nashville and was buried in Lewisburg.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.