1. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1991, and he also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film version of The Great White Hope.
2. In his episode of Biography, he said he overcame the affliction through poetry, public speaking, and acting, although it lasted for several years.
3. A pre-med major in college, he went on to serve in the United States Army during the Korean War before pursuing a career in acting.
4. James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi on January 17, 1931, Jones and his father reconciled many years later.
5. Jones was raised by his maternal grandparents, farmers John Henry and Maggie Connolly.
6. Jones has described his grandmother, Maggie, as “the most racist person I have ever known”, thus forcing him to develop his own independent thinking.
7. He found the transition to be traumatic, and developed a stutter so severe he refused to speak.
8. When he moved to Brethren, Michigan, a teacher helped him overcome his stutter.
9. He remained functionally mute for eight years, until he entered high school.
10. He credits his English teacher, Donald Crouch, who discovered he had a gift for writing poetry, with helping him end his silence. “I was a stutterer.
11. So my first year of school was my first mute year, and then those mute years continued until I got to high school.”
12. After being educated at the Browning School for boys in his high school years and graduating from Brethren High School in Brethren, Michigan, Jones attended the University of Michigan where he was initially a pre-med major. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and excelled.