James Howard McGrath was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, on November 28, 1903. He received his Ph.B. from Providence College in 1926, and LL.B. from Boston University in 1929. He was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1929, and in later years was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. From 1930 to 1934 he was city solicitor of Central Falls, Rhode Island. He served as United States district attorney from 1935 to 1940. From 1940 until 1945 he was Governor of Rhode Island. McGrath served as Solicitor General of the United States from 1945 to 1946. He was elected United States Senator from Rhode Island in 1946. President Truman appointed McGrath Attorney General of the United States on August 24, 1949. He resigned from that office on April 7, 1952 and entered the private practice of law. He died on September 2, 1966.