James A. Colescott

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James Arnold Colescott (January 11, 1897 - January 12, 1950) was a veterinarian who later became Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. On June 10, 1939 he succeeded Hiram Evans as the leader of the Klan.

Early life

James Colescott was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and graduated from the Terre Haute Veterinary College in 1917. Upon graduation he enlisted in the US Army and served 22 months in France during World War I. In 1918 he was commissioned a lieutenant and honorably discharged in 1921. He returned to Terre Haute and began his veterinary practice.[1]

Ku Klux Klan

Colescott joined the Klan in 1922 and later became Grand Dragon of Ohio. In 1936 he moved to Atlanta working at the national offices known as the Imperial Palace located at 3155 Roswell Road.

In April 1944 the national Klan came to an end when the Internal Revenue Service filed a $685,000 lien against the Klan assets for back taxes dating from the 1920's. Colescott lost his battle with the IRS and retired to Miami, Florida.

Colescott was a Master Mason, Odd Fellow and member of the American Legion. He died on January 12, 1950 in Coral Gables, Florida.[2]


  1. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, by Col Winfield Jones, page 153
  2. "Dr. Colescott Dies. Successor of Hiram W. Evans Disbanded Order in 1944. Joined Group in 1920's.". New York Times. January 13, 1950. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F7091FF6355F147B93C1A8178AD85F448585F9. Retrieved 2009-02-11. "Dr. James A. Colescott, former chief of the Ku Klux Klan, died last night in the United States veterans' Hospital at Coral Gables. His age was 53. ..."