James STEWART

Family tree of James STEWART

Actor

AmericanBorn James Maitland STEWART

American film and stage actor

Born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA , United States

Died on July 02, 1997 in Los Angeles, California, USA

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James Stewart was born the son of Elizabeth Ruth (née Jackson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. Stewart's parents were of Scottish Presbyterian origin. His Jackson ancestors served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The eldest of three children (he had two younger sisters, Virginia and Mary), he was expected to continue his father's business, which had been in the family for three generations.



His mother was an excellent pianist but his father discouraged Stewart's request for lessons. But when his father accepted a gift of an accordion from a guest, young Stewart quickly learned to play the instrument, which became a fixture off-stage during his acting career. As the family grew, music continued to be an important part of family life.

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Stewart attended Mercersburg Academy prep school, graduating in 1928. At Mercersburg, Stewart was active in a variety of activities. He played on the football and track teams. He was art editor for the KARUX yearbook and member of the choir club, glee club, and John Marshall Literary Society. During his first summer break, Stewart returned to Indiana, Pennsylvania to work as a brick loader for a local construction company and on highway and road construction jobs where he painted lines on the roads. Over the following two summers, he took a job as an assistant with a professional magician. He also made his first appearance on the stage at Mercersburg, as Buquet in the play The Wolves.



A shy child, Stewart spent much of his after-school time in the basement working on model airplanes, mechanical drawing and chemistry—all with a dream of going into aviation. But he abandoned visions of being a pilot when his father insisted that instead of the United States Naval Academy he attend Princeton University.



Stewart enrolled at Princeton in 1928 as a member of the Class of 1932. There, he excelled at studying architecture, so impressing his professors with his thesis on an airport design that he was awarded a scholarship for graduate studies, but he gradually became attracted to the school's drama and music clubs, including the famous Princeton Triangle Club. He was a member of the Princeton Charter Club as well as a head cheerleader. In his spare time, he enjoyed going to the movies at the time when 'talkies' were just displacing silent films.



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Geographical origins

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