“The fear that arises from the inevitability of personal choices and the inability to avoid personal consequences can become a problem for many,” he wrote in a 2011 paper. “For others, the exhilaration may come from the realization that the goal of a powerful, long life can be attainable.”
James Franklin Fries was born on August 25, 1938 in Normal, Illinois, to Albert and Orpha (Hair) Fries. His mother taught English in middle school and his father was a college economics professor. The family soon moved to Evanston, Illinois, where Albert Fries taught at Northwestern University, and then to California, where he taught at several institutions, including the University of Southern California.
Jim Fries attended Stanford University and graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1960. In the same year he married Sarah Tilden, whom he had met in a freshman history class.
Weeks after their wedding ceremony, the Frisians drove to Baltimore, where Dr. Fries attended medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He graduated in 1964 and remained a resident for an additional four years before returning to Stanford to join the faculty.
His daughter Elizabeth died of breast cancer in 2005, the same year his wife developed metastatic melanoma. She survived, but the disease made her disabled. Dr. Fries insisted that she stay active, and the two continued to travel extensively, cruising and hiking around the world. Once he carried her over a bridge in the Himalayas.
Ms. Fries died in 2017. Together with his son, Dr. Fries his brother Ken and five grandchildren.
Dr. Fries retired in 2017 after the death of his wife and a severe stroke. A few months later, he moved to Colorado to be around his son.