James Arthur Conway, formerly of Amherst and a retired University at Buffalo professor, died Thursday in Siesta Key, Fla., after a long battle with cancer. He was 74,
A resident of Siesta Key and West Hartford, Conn., he was born in Bronxville and raised in Riverdale. He graduated from Fordham Preparatory School and the University at Albany.
He received his master's degree in school administration from Columbia University in 1955. He then entered the Army and served with the counter-intelligence corps in Japan.
Returning to the United States, he taught in Yonkers and in 1963 received the first earned doctorate to be awarded by the State University of New York. During the last year of his doctoral program, he was acting principal of Saratoga Springs Junior High, where he met his future wife, Linda Hyde. They were married in 1963 and moved to Buffalo.
He first taught at Buffalo State College, and then in 1967, he joined the faculty of the University at Buffalo in educational administration. While at UB, he authored several books and numerous articles on various aspects of leadership in education.
He had been a visiting professor at University of Miami; Didsbury College, England; the University College, Galway, Ireland; the Principal's Center at Harvard University; and a consultant at Oxford University, England.
He was a life member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Edward Eldred Potter Club, the American Educational Research Association, an executive committee member of the University council for Educational Administration, the Great Debate Society of UB, and the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association.
He was a member of Christ the King Parish in Snyder, the Newman Center at UB and St. Michael the Archangel Church in Siesta Key, Fla.
His avocation was early morning golf, which he pursued daily into his retirement years. His wood-carving skills were exhibited in shows in Florida as well as in homes of family and friends.
In addition to his wife of 44 years, he is survived by three sons, Dr. James, Matthew and Christopher; and two sisters, Betty Ricciardi and Barbara Burchell
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Newman Center at the University of Buffalo, 495 Skinnersville Road, Amherst.