James C. Justice, II was born April 27, 1951, to James Conley Justice and Edna Ruth Justice. He attended Raleigh County public schools and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1969, attended Greenbrier Military Academy as a post graduate. Governor Justice went to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and was captain of the golf team for two years before earning his undergraduate degree and a Masters in Business Administration.
The Governor joined his family’s business in 1976. Because of his strong interest in nature and the outdoors, he started Justice Family Farms in 1977 in beautiful Monroe County, West Virginia. Under his direction, Justice Farming Operations has grown to be a major agricultural enterprise. His companies farm more than 50,000 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Gov. Justice is the largest farmer east of the Mississippi River.
Upon the death of his father in 1993, and over the next 15 years, Jim launched a massive expansion of multiple businesses which included significant coal reserve expansion, Christmas tree farms, cotton gins, turfgrass operations, golf courses, timber enhancement and land projects just to mention a few. Before being elected governor, Jim was the president and CEO of 102 different companies.
Governor Justice spent his career creating thousands of jobs and understands how to put people to work.
In 2009, Justice rescued The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, from bankruptcy. He brought major events like the PGA Tour, training camps for the NFL and NBA, and countless high-profile acts and conferences to The Greenbrier. As governor, he wants to do everything possible to put West Virginia in a positive light.
Jim has carried on his family’s tradition of being major supporters of youth programs in Southern West Virginia. Since 1992 he has been President of Beckley Little League. He has coached basketball teams of all ages for the past 36 years and is currently the head girls and boys basketball coach at Greenbrier East High School in Lewisburg, WV. On November 29, 2016, Jim was honored when he coached his 1,000th career win in basketball.
In May 2015, Jim announced his campaign to seek the office of governor of West Virginia. After 19 months on the campaign trail sharing his vision for transforming West Virginia, Jim was elected the 36th governor of West Virginia. He won with a broad coalition of support from Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Jim and his wife Cathy have been best friends since high school. They recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. The Governor and the First Lady have two adult children, James (Jay) C. Justice, III, and Dr. Jill Justice.