Dr. James L. Forsythe was born December 18, 1934 in Bransford, Texas. He married Sherrill Kay Zartman on August 10, 1956. They had three sons, James L. Forsythe, Jr., Garen David Forsythe, and Dana Sean Forsythe. Dr. Forsythe passed away 3 on December 16, 2011. Dr. Forsythe received a Bachelor of Science Degree in History in 1960 and his Master's Degree in History with a minor in Economics in 1962. Both degrees were from North Texas State University. In 1971, he received his Ph.D. in History with a minor in Economics from the University of New Mexico. In 1977, Dr. Forsythe wrote The first 75 years: A History of Fort Hays State University. In 2002, Dr. Forsythe published his second historical book about Fort Hays State University entitled Lighthouse on the plains: Fort Hays State University, 1902-2002. Dr. Forsythe began his work at FHSU in 1963 as an Assistant Professor of History. In 1968, he became an Associate Professor and in 1971, a Professor. From 1975 to 1981 he served as Chair of the Department of History. He became the Dean of the Graduate School in 1981 and added the position of Vice Provost of Academic Affairs in 1993. He was also president of both the Western Social Science Association and the Kansas State Historical Society. Dr. Forsythe retired December 10, 1999.
Fort Hays State University Archives, "Dr. James L. Forsythe Collection, 1809-1994" (2016). Archives Finding Aids. 10.