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Dr. James E. West (May 16, 1876 – May 15, 1948) was a lawyer and an advocate of children's rights, who become the first professional Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, serving from 1911-1943. Upon his retirement from the BSA, West was given the title of Chief Scout.
When the new BSA office opened in January 1911 West was at the helm and the movement began to grow at a rapid pace. Sixty local councils were organized in the first month of his tenure. One of his first tasks was the first edition of Boy Scout Handbook. West was instrumental in expanding the third part of the Scout Oath:
- ...To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
He also pushed to add three parts to the Scout Law: brave, clean, and reverent. In November 1911 the title was changed and he became the first Chief Scout Executive.