Dr. Jim Law
Each year the Charlotte Flights Track and Field Club hosts an invitational meet on the third weekend in June, at one of the two complexes named for philanthropist Irwin Belk. The meet is aptly named after Dr. Jim Law, most notably a pioneer in Senior Health, Senior Fitness, and Senior Track & Field. The meet falls on Father’s Day weekend, a befitting tribute to a man who gave freely of himself to all and sought to improve the lives and health of all he touched.
Although Dr. Law departed this life on March 10, 1996, his legacy and work lives on through his many accomplishments and standing records. His surviving family; sons and daughter-in-law, Eric Law and Stanley & Anita Law, all of Charlotte; mother-in-law, Mrs. Estelle H. Liston of Charlotte continue to support the Charlotte Flights Track and Field Club and Johnson C. Smith University.
James Roland law was born February 23, 1926 in Baltimore, Maryland, the only son of James Hezekiah Law and Mary Elizabeth Law.
Having received his primary and secondary education in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Jim Law graduated from Frederick Douglass high School in Baltimore in 1942, and went on to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, from which he received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy in 1947, and to New York University, from which he received a Master’s degree in psychology two years later. In 1967, he earned a PH.D. In psychology from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
After receiving his Master’s degree in 1949, Jim Law began a long and fruitful association with Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, which he served for forty-six years in many capacities, including: Professor of Psychology; Chairman of the Department of Psychology; head of the Division of Education, Physical Education, and Psychology; Vice-President for Academic Affairs; and James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Psychology. He retired from JCSU in 1995, and was granted the title of Professor Emeritus of Psychology.
Dr.Law had a long history of community involvement, including serving as Board President for the local agency on volunteerism in Charlotte and assuming leadership posts at the local and state levels for both the United Way and the Mental Health Association. Until his death, he served as a member of the Boards of Directors for the North Carolina Senior Games and the U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (USNSO), the St. Louis based organization which gives shape and vision to the Senior Games movement.
In 1987, prompted by medical difficulties, Jim Law began sprinting regularly competitively. He won local, state, regional, national and world championships and has established an assortment of American and world records.
During the last several years of his life, Jim Law served as official spokesperson for Whole Grain Total cereal’s “Total Shape-Up” initiative which promotes healthy lifestyles among older people. In 1993, he became the first senior presented the Silver Eagle Award by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the National Program of Physical Fitness and Sports on behalf of Older Americans”. In 1994, he joined Willard Scott, Betty Friedan, and Alice Scott Kelly (Ms.Senior District of Columbia) in being recognized by Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and Assistant Secretary for Aging Fernando Torres-Gil, for their many contributions as model older Americans and honored as ambassadors for healthy aging. The event was part of a ceremony hosted by the Administration on Aging to kick off Older Americans Month.
In recent years, JimLaw had been featured in magazines such as Modern Maturity, Sports Illustrated, Ebony, Duke Magazine, Prevention, Men’s Health, and as one of the accomplished athletes featured in the books December Champions and Growing Old Is Not For Sissies II (plus the accompanying 1996 calendar).
- Six (6) National Senior Olympic Gold Medals and Six (6) National Senior Olympic Records:
Event Time Age Category Year
100 Meters 12.63 60 – 64 1989
200 Meters 25.72 60 – 64 1989
400 Meters 58.89 60 – 64 1989
100 Meters 13.11 65 – 69 1991
200 Meters 26.20 65 – 69 1991
400 Meters 58.52* 65 – 69 1991
*Faster than the world’s record achieved by me three days later
- Three (3) Age Group World Records:
200 Meters (Indoors) 26.92 65 – 69 1991
400 Meters (Indoors) 60.67 65 – 69 1991
400 Meters (Outdoors) 58.79 65 – 69 1991
- Three (3) Age Group American Records:
60 Meters (Indoors) 08.14 65 – 69 1991
100 Meters (Outdoors) 12.71 65 – 69 1991
200 Meters (Outdoors) 26.10 65 – 69 1991
- Likeness selected as the male member of the athletic couple featured on the official poster for the U.S. National Senior Sports Classic III: The Senior Olympics in Syracuse, New York from June 28 through July 3, 1991
- Appeared (with wife Aureila) on the cover of the 1991 June/July issue of Modern Maturity and (one of the North Carolina athletes) featured in the accompanying article, “Beating Time” which gives special attention to the National Senior Sports Classic
- Appeared (with wife Aureila) on the cover of the 1991 June/July issue of Modern Maturity and (one of the North Carolina athletes) featured in the accompanying article, ”Beating Time” which gives special attention to the National Senior Sports Classic
- Twice named “Athlete of the Month” by the National Masters News, once solo and once shared (proudly) with two masters Track greats: Payton Jordon and Jack Greenwood
- Represented USA on five relay teams competing internationally in 3 countries successively in ’87,’89, & ’91, earning five gold medals and helping to establish three world records
- Current TAC, Outdoor Champion in the 100, 200, & 400 Meter dashes for men 65 – 69