James McGavock was born September 21, 1924, in Seattle, Washington, the son of James and Jean Scobie McGavock. Jim and his sister, Jean McGavock Lamb, were raised in Kennecott, Alaska and were always called "A Kennecott Kid". They were educated in a one room school in Kennecott while their father worked as a master mechanic for the mine. Jim graduated from high school in Denver, Colorado. On September 4, 1953, he married Elese Marie Doxey, in Ogden, Utah. Jim worked for Hill Air Force Base as an aircraft inspector for 37 years and retired in 1987. For more information on James McGavock, see his obituary in the Deseret News newspaper.