About the Author
Jim Downs was brought to Oceanside, California by his parents as an infant in 1931. They owned a farm in the area where Downs Street is located today. The family later moved to Cardiff, California where Jim attended two years of elementary school and later six years of secondary school at San Dieguito. He graduated from San Jose State where he received both his BA and MA degrees in social science with a concentration in history and political science.
Since he was 16 years old he had written for newspapers and intended to have a career in journalism. At different points of his career, he was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and a columnist for the Oceanside Blade-Tribune. He taught history at Vista High School located in Vista, California where he remained for 34 years.
Previously, he spent two years in the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps, and later as a civilian was a CIC intelligence officer in Germany where he was employed as an interrogator and German linguist in the refugee program. Subsequently as a teacher, he also was a real estate broker-investor, managing his family’s apartment house holdings.
After retiring from the classroom, he wrote a history of an Office of Strategic Services (WWII) mission. The book received critical acclaim, and is now on the required reading list of all State Department foreign service officers assigned to Slovakia, the scene of the OSS mission. In 2004, the State Department published his book in the Slovak language and brought Jim over to Slovakia to make six presentations to the Slovak academic community. The ambassador arranged for him to present personal copies of the book to both the president and premier of the Republic of Slovakia.
Jim resided in Oceanside with his wife, Patsy. They have two sons and four grandchildren. Mr. Downs passed away in 2016.