James Geddes Stahlman

James Geddes Stahlman

James Geddes Stahlman (February 28, 1893 - May 1, 1976)[1] was a Tennessee newspaper publisher[2] and philanthropist.

Early Years

Stahlman earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1919, and went on to be a member of the Board of Trustees for 43 years. He was a leader in the fundraising effort that helped build the Jean and Alexander Heard Library and the Memorial Gym. Stahlman gave an important collection of historical artifacts, as well as his own papers, to the library.


For almost a century, the Stahlman family owned the Nashville Banner. The Banner was Nashville's conservative paper, taking controversial positions on issues on segregation, especially during the Nashville Sit-ins. Stahlman claimed to be the enemy of civil rights leader Jim Lawson. When the Banner was sold in 1976, Stahlman endowed five research faculty professorships at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; his endowment gift now supports 10 chairs.

In 2008, Gary Gerstle was named to become the first James G. Stahlman Professor of American History at Vanderbilt University.[3]

Stahlman's daughter Mildred T. Stahlman is a professor of pediatrics and pathology at Vanderbilt University, and is well known as a neonatologist.