Dealey, James Quayle (1861–1937)

By: Wayne Gard

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

James Quayle Dealey, professor and journalist, was born to George and Mary Ann (Nellins) Dealey on August 13, 1861, in Manchester, England. When he was nine, his family moved to Galveston, Texas, where he received some education in the local schools. At the age of seventeen, however, he joined his two brothers, Thomas W. and George B. Dealey, as an employee of the Galveston News. While working in a number of the newspaper's departments, including the business office, the mail room, and the circulation department, he developed an understanding of the industry. He also worked as a traveling salesman for various business firms operating from Galveston. In 1884 he left the Gulf Coast city and entered the Cook Academy of Montour Falls, New York, where he took courses in preparation for entering college. Apparently during the same year Dealey enrolled at Brown University, at Providence, Rhode Island, where he graduated in 1890 with a bachelor's degree in languages. Soon afterward, he returned to Texas as a teacher.

Dealey was appointed professor of ancient languages and history at Denton State Normal School (now the University of North Texas). He resigned after a year, however, to accept a teaching post in Latin at the Vermont Academy at Saxton's River. Dealey remained in Vermont for two years and in 1893 reentered Brown University, where he received the A.M. degree in Greek and German. The university hired him as a Latin instructor during the fall of that year.

He developed an interest in political and social science and completed a Ph.D. in these subjects in 1895. He was influenced in these relatively new fields by pioneer sociologist Lester F. Ward, one of his teachers at Brown. Dealey joined the faculty at Brown as an assistant professor of political sciences in 1895. In this position, often collaborating with Ward, he wrote a number of scholarly works, including Spanish Sources of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (1900), Textbook of Sociology (1905), Development of the State (1909), The Family in Its Social Aspects (1912), and Sociology, Its Development and Applications (1920). Dealey's publications, which also included contributions to both scholarly and popular periodicals, established his reputation as a leading academic and drew him into a number of professional organizations. He was a member of the Institut International de Sociologie and served as president of the American Sociological Society, vice president of the American Political Science Association, and president of the Southwestern Social Science Association. By 1905 he had risen to the rank of professor; by 1910 he had been appointed chairman of his department at Brown. In addition, he lectured periodically at the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, from 1916 through 1928. In 1921 he was a visiting professor at Shanghai College, in China.

Dealey retired from the university in 1928. Soon afterward he returned to Texas to assume editorship of the Dallas Morning News, of which his brother G. B. was president. In 1930 Dealey, a Baptist, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Baylor University. Among the social organizations to which he belonged were the Critic, Town and Gown, the Faculty Club at Brown University, and the Author's Club of London. On August 7, 1890, Dealey married Clara Learned. The couple raised four children. Dealey died on January 22, 1937, at his desk at the Morning News offices in editorial conference with his brothers. He was buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas.

Dallas Morning News, January 23, 1937. National Cyclopaedia of American Biography Vols. 27 and A.
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Social Sciences
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Peoples
  • English
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Authors and Writers
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Wayne Gard, “Dealey, James Quayle,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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