Alabama Academy of Honor

James Taylor Hardin

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1979.

James Taylor Hardin was born in Halsell, Choctaw County, Alabama, December 26, 1917, and grew up in Sumter County. Graduating from Livingston High School, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alabama. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant upon graduation from the university in 1942.

He served in World War II attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Transferring to the Alabama National Guard, he commanded the 31st Division and retired in 1975 with the rank of Major General, the highest federal rank attainable in the National Guard. He holds the distinction of being the first officer appointed General in the Alabama National Guard.

Following World War II he became an Assistant Attorney General for Alabama serving as chief of the Criminal Division and of the Legal Division, and as Legal Counsel to the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts and to the Finance Department. He served as Director of the Department of Finance under Governor George C. Wallace and Governor Lurleen B. Wallace. On January 16, 1974, General Hardin was appointed Mental Health Commissioner by the State Mental Health Board.

General Hardin served as staff representative on committees of the Southern and National Governors' Conferences. He was Alabama's representative to the Mental Health Division of the Southern Regional Education Board and was a member of the National Mental Health Programs Directors' Association. He also served on the Committee on Governmental Reorganization, the Youth Services Board, the Alabama American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, the Board of Control of the State Retirement System, and the Governor's Mansion Advisory Board.

From 1984-1989, Hardin served as chairman of the State Personnel Board and State Employees Insurance Board.

General Hardin was married to the former Dorothy Jarrett and had three daughters: Janet Hardin Shaloop, Pegge Hardin Lander, and Patricia Hardin, and four grandchildren.

James Taylor Hardin died on June 6, 1998.