James Hale was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 5, 1928. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Hale received degrees from the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, and from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. In 1957, Hale accepted a position at the University of Florida, where he worked in the School of Music as a percussion Professor and Assistant Chair until his retirement in 1989. He was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, NAfMC, Percussive Arts Society and is listed in national and international publications. Hale passed away on July 9, 2015.