James L. Bates was born in Boulder, Colorado, on May 14, 1916. In 1923, when he was eight years old, his family moved to Colorado Springs where his father worked as an aeronautical engineer for the Alexander Aviation Company. After graduating from Colorado Springs High School, Jim went to work as a director and cinematographer for the Alexander Film Company in Colorado Springs. It was Jim's seven years of experience at Alexander Film that made him a prime candidate to become a combat photographer with the 165th Photo Signal Company when he joined the Army in 1942. Jim jumped at D-Day with the 82nd Airborne Division and photographed the war in Europe until the fall of Berlin. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his bravery. After his combat tour in World War II, Jim married Monica Catherine Howard, his wartime girlfriend from England. Jim and Monica settled in Colorado Springs and had four sons: James Jr., Bernard, Gordon, and Philip. Jim returned to the Alexander Film Company and worked there until 1964. From 1964 until 1985 he worked at the national office of the International Typographical Union (ITU) where he created and managed their audio/visual department. Jim loved the outdoors and was the official photographer of the AdAmAn club. He made over 40 trips up Pikes Peak with the club. Jim died in Colorado Springs on June 26, 2002.