A native of Chanute, Kansas, Jim Malson attended Neosho County Community College and Kansas State University, before service with the U.S. Army, 1956-1960, in Germany. Following his military discharge, he served with the Kansas Highway Patrol at Chanute and Kansas City, before resigning to accept a position as deputy sheriff with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department in 1962. In 1969, he resigned his detective position with the sheriff's department to accept appointment as a special agent with the KBI. Special agent assignments with the KBI followed at Pratt, Olathe and Ottawa until his promotion to KBI assistant director at Topeka in 1989. In 1989, Attorney General Robert Stephan appointed Jim Malson director of the KBI. Director Malson retired in 1992 and today enjoys retirement on his farm in Franklin County, near Ottawa.