James B. "Jimmy" Lile, "the Arkansas Knifesmith" was one of the premier US knifemakers. He made his first knife around 1941 with his first knife sold in 1944, but did not become a full time professional knife maker until 1970. By that time he had been a part-time bladesmith for many years and had earned an enviable reputation for the design and quality of his folding and fixed blade knives. Mr. Lile was also known for the Cherokee style (inspired by his Indian grandmother), reversible (right or left hand carry) fitted pouch sheaths included with many of his hunting knives.
Lile was elected president of The Knifemakers’ Guild in 1978 and was an early member of the American Bladesmith Society. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the ABS in 1977 and acted as a liaison between the two groups. His "Lile Lock" folding knife is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In 1984 he was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame.