James Wormley Jones was born in Fort Monroe, Va., Jones’ family relocated to Cambridge, Mass. when he was a child. He returned to Virginia as an adult, eventually graduating from Virginia Union University. In 1905, he began working with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department before joining the U.S. Army in 1917. He returned to the police force when the war ended in 1918 and was named the first African-American special agent with the FBI the following year, working under J. Edgar Hoover. One of his assignments was to monitor the actions of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Marcus Garvey.