Jim Hensley

Born Apr 12, 1920

James Willis "Jim" Hensley was an American businessman in the beer industry. Hensley was born in Texas and moved to Arizona during his youth. He was a bombardier on B-17 Flying Fortresses during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he was convicted of illegal distribution of liquor and was also involved in a racetrack operation that was investigated by authorities. He founded Hensley & Co. in 1955.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Jim Hensley.

  • Election Slates Set For Union County Races Palladium Item
    Google News - Aug 04, 2011
  • All Stars Step Up To The Plate Asheville Citizen Times
    Google News - Jun 30, 2011
  • Redistricting Forum Draws Plenty Of Opinions In Oxnard Ventura County Star
    Google News - Jun 23, 2011
  • Jail Squeeze Frees Crook County Crooks Ktvz
    Google News - Jun 16, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Jim Hensley.


1920 Birth Born on April 12, 1920.


1936 16 Years Old Hensley was born in San Antonio, Texas to Jessie and James L. Hensley. The family was poor and his father was an alcoholic. They lived in the South until moving to Arizona; Hensley graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1936.
1937 17 Years Old He married Mary Jeanne Parks, his high school sweetheart, around 1937, and worked as a paper salesman. … Read More


1943 23 Years Old On his thirteenth mission, his plane was shot down over the English Channel; around the same time, his wife gave birth to their daughter, Kathleen Ann Hensley, in February 1943. … Read More
1945 25 Years Old 1 More Event
Hensley divorced his wife, and shortly thereafter married Marguerite on March 29, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee while on leave from the USAAF. … Read More


1952 32 Years Old In December 1952, the Hensley brothers bought into the Ruidoso Downs racetrack in New Mexico, with Eugene running it and Jim returning to Phoenix.
1953 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In a May 1953 hearing before the New Mexico State Racing Commission, the Hensley brothers concealed the existence an equal partner, Clarence "Teak" Baldwin, who had been banned from any ownership role due to illegal bookmaking activities. … Read More
1955 35 Years Old 1 More Event
Jim Hensley would sell his interest in Ruidoso Downs to his brother Eugene in 1955 (who would in turn sell it to a Marley-connected company in 1969).


1980 60 Years Old By 1980 the business had become quite successful and Jim Hensley was a multi-millionaire. … Read More
1981 61 Years Old In 1981, Hensley hired his new son-in-law John McCain, recently married to his daughter Cindy, as Vice President of Public Relations for Hensley & Co.
1982 62 Years Old McCain soon left to begin his Congressional career with a victory in the 1982 election for U.S. House of Representatives.
1986 66 Years Old Jim Hensley's past record with the law, as well as his past connection to Marley (who was suspected by the police in the 1976 car-bomb murder of Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles), were raised by McCain's opponent in the 1986 general election campaign for the U.S. Senate. … Read More
As his business continued to grow, Hensley became one of Arizona's richest men, although he never sought publicity. He held most of the controlling stock in Hensley & Co., although by 2000 his health was poor and he had withdrawn from daily operational control. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.