<JAMES FRANCIS MAGEE
Magee was for a number of years a broker in merchandise and food stuffs, but has since retired and settled down into the regular occupation of a chess crank, sharp, bug, enthusiast and expert. We have reason to suspect that most of the treatises on chess since the time "of Confucius were in reality written by Magee; that while climbing a barbed wire fence, he can also conduct seventeen and a half contests in parallel; that he has a floating chess board upon which to play in his tub; that he has memorized chess equivalents for each of the personages of the Bible, so that when apparently following the church service, he can yet be constructing a chess problem, and that he will not eat mashed potatoes unless moulded into the forms of Kings, Queens, Bishops, etc. Anyway, he is some chess player.
Color is lent to these beliefs from his editorship of the publication of the Good Companion Chess Club, that wisely gave him that job in 1913 and his being an international secretary of the Problem Club. He also carries as an auxiliary and side line, membership in the Franklin Chess Club, and such office as he has may be best located by any one seeking him going to the Musical Arts Club of Philadelphia and to the chess tables therein.
To keep tuned up to this indoor sport as above, he mentally toys a little at bridge, or whacks a golf ball about, at the Merion Cricket Club, until the call of chess again hits him. Then, when some men carry pocket flasks, or paper of many sheets to the inch, in their pockets, Magee pulls out a pocket chess board, squats on the green and essays to crack another problem; while the caddy, speechless in unfathomed amazement, curls up on the grass and goes into a long undisturbed sleep.
Magee has been a consistent and active and loyal worker for '87. It is again to his efforts, that the numerous pictures of ourselves as we now are—"as is," as the department stores would rate us—in this present issue are due. And those of the Class who have not contributed, best know what a task is the collection such pictures of our cherubic phizzes.
In 1913, Magee's son died; James Francis Magee III. It was a hard thing for Magee to meet—and to no one does the silent handclasp of sympathy go out more than to fine Jimmy Magee of '87.>
Five and Thirty: The Further History of the Class of Eighty-seven of the University of Pennsylvania (1922)