James Joseph Delaney, teacher and school administrator, son of Henry H. and Sarah (King) Delaney, was born on April 6, 1879, in Bristol, Virginia. He attended King College (B.A., 1900; M.A., 1918; honorary Litt.D., 1923), the University of Virginia, and Columbia University. He served as superintendent of schools at Marion, Virginia, and as president of Euharlee Institute, Georgia. He moved to Texas in 1904 as headmaster of Carlisle Military Academy (now the University of Texas at Arlington). He taught at Austin College in Sherman from 1908 until 1920, when he became headmaster of the University Training School in Dallas. In 1922 Delaney was chosen as the first president of Schreiner Institute (now Schreiner College), a position he held until retirement on July 14, 1950. His efforts resulted in Schreiner's becoming a fully accredited junior college.
Delaney was the first junior college representative to be chosen president of the Association of Texas Colleges. He was president of the Southern Association of Junior Colleges (1945–46) and a member of the Executive Committee for Secondary Schools of the Southern Association of Colleges (1939–47). He served as a member of accrediting committees of both the Southern Association and the Texas Education Agency. He represented the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in evaluating the work of Mexican colleges seeking accreditation. He attempted to promote better relations with Mexico, Central America, and South America by helping young men from those areas to obtain an education in Texas.
Delaney served as president of the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce (1926–27), as a director of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce (1937–38), as a member of the board of directors, Texas Centennial of Statehood Commission (1946–47), and as a director of the Federal Building and Loan Association. He was a member of the Texas Academy of Science, the Texas State Historical Association, the Democratic party, Phi Gamma Mu, the International Rotary Club, and the Presbyterian Church. Delaney and Stella (Vineyard), whom he married on June 6, 1906, had two children. Delaney died in Kerrville on June 28, 1959.