David James was born in Wisconsin. His father was a logger and moved around to where he could find work. In 1940, they moved to Eastern Washington, in 1942 back to Wisconsin, in 1946 back to Washington, in 1948 to Idaho, and finally in 1950 to Alaska. The family traveled the Alaska Highway and settled into homesteading along the highway near Northway, Alaska. The family ran a sawmill, which they moved up onto the Gerstle River in 1955. David left interior Alaska in 1956 seeking employment. Like his father, he worked in the logging industry and found jobs in Ketchikan, on Prince of Wales Island and in Oregon. David married his wife, Moya, in 1957 and they moved back to interior Alaska in 1958. David worked at the family sawmill and then in 1959 got a job doing highway maintenance which he did for the next twenty-five years until his retirement. Living on a remote homestead at Mile 1254 of the Alaska Highway near the Alaska/Canada border, David has been an ardent hunter, trapper, fisherman, and gun collector. He has traveled extensively in the surrounding countryside during all seasons. He has also done some mining and operates a fur-buying business.