Served as mayor:
- December 1, 1933–November 30, 1939
- December 1, 1949–November 30, 1951
James Edward Herndon was born in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, to George and Eliza Bird Herndon. He grew up and lived most of his adult life in Kings Mountain. By 1917, when he registered to join the war, he was living in Richmond County, North Carolina, working as a railroad flagman for the Seaboard Airlines. He was later drafted to serve in the Army in March of 1918.
After the war, J.E. returned to Kings Mountain. He married and began working in the textile industry. During his time as mayor, he was a major advocate for a public library for the town.
James was married to his wife, Virginia Mauney Herndon, for 34 years before he passed away. The couple had two children.
James Edward Herndon passed away at the age of 66 from cancer.