French, James J. was born in April 1859 in at St. Charles, Missouri, United States. Son of James and Abigail (Welsh) French.
Bachelor of Arts, University of Notre Dame, 1879 (honorary Master of Arts, 1889). Ordained to R.C. priesthood, 1883.
Teacher, 1879-1887, vice president, 1885-1887, president 1905-1906, St. Joseph’s College, Cincinnati. Director Holy Cross Seminary, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1887-1893. Vice-president and director of studies, University of Notre Dame, 1893-1905.
1st assistant superior-general Congregation of Holy Cross, since 1906. Rector Holy Cross Seminary, 1906-1912. Superior, Holy Cross Missionary Band, since 1912.