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JAMES SHORT GREW up in a small Illinois town where his father was the principal of the rural community school that he attended for 12 years. During his formative years, Short's educational experiences instilled a deep sense of personal responsibility and respect for the virtues of learning. His strong work ethic developed at the age of six when he began toiling at odd jobs on nearby farms. Though thankful for the opportunities, Short quickly realized that he would seek an alternative area of expertise for his life's work.

After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Shrutleff College, a small Baptist institution, in Alton, Illinois. Short enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve while attending college and in 1943 was sent to a training program at ...

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