James B. Conroy practices law in Boston as a co-founder of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, one of the city’s leading litigation firms. In 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society in recognition of his first book, Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865, the only book ever devoted to Lincoln’s little-known peace negotiations with Confederate leaders on a riverboat in Virginia near the end of the Civil War. Our One Common Country was a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, awarded to the author of the best book of the year on Lincoln, a Civil War soldier, or the Civil War era. Conroy’s second book, Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime, won the Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s annual book award.
Conroy is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and served for six years as a photographer and a journalist in anti-submarine aviation units in the United States Navy Reserve. While working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as a speechwriter and a press secretary in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, he earned a master’s degree in international relations at George Washington University and a law degree, magna cum laude, at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Conroy has lived in Hingham, Massachusetts with his wife, Lynn since 1982. Their daughter, Erin, is a lawyer and the mother of two young boys. Their son, Scott, is a political journalist. Conroy is a member of Hingham’s Historical Commission and its Community Preservation Committee and has chaired its Government Study Committee, its Task Force on Affordability, and its Advisory Committee, which counsels the Hingham Town Meeting, an exercise in direct democracy through which the town has governed itself since 1635, well before Conroy’s time.