James Patrick McGranery was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1895. He served in World War I as an observation pilot with the Air Force. He graduated from Temple University Law School in 1928, and was admitted to the bar that same year. McGranery was appointed chairman of the Registration Commission by Governor Earle for the city of Philadelphia in 1935. He was a Member of the House of Representatives serving in the 75th through 78th Congresses. In November 1943, he was appointed assistant to the Attorney General and was responsible for supervising the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Bureau of Prisons, and various divisions. Then he served as United States Federal Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 1946 he was awarded the Medal of Merit by President Truman. On May 27, 1952, President Truman appointed McGranery Attorney General of the United States. He served in that capacity until January 20, 1953. He died on December 23, 1962.
Charles Fox was the son of a well-known Austrian painter, who taught him to paint as a child. Portraits at one time credited to him include J. Edgar Hoover, Senator Strom Thurmond, and Treasury Secretary Henry Fowler. McGranery’s portrait was completed in 1957. NOTE-There is some controversy regarding whether or not Fox actually painted any of the portraits with which he has been credited. In 1978, after a question arose from the Internal Revenue Service on how to tax income from the paintings, Leo Fox (having presented himself as Charles J. or C.J. Fox) told a tax court judge that his credited paintings were actually done by New York artist and Russian immigrant Irving Resnikoff (1897-1988). Fox and Resnikoff both asserted that Fox neither had the ability nor training to have done the paintings himself. Resnikoff had been given photographs to work from in painting all of the portraits attributed to C.J. Fox.