James Buel Lile was born on August 22, 1933, died May 5, 1991, better known as Jimmy Lile, or “The Arkansas Knifesmith”, was an American knife maker from Russellville, in Pope County Arkansas, who made The Rambo Knife, and The First Blood Part 2 Knife. Lile was the son of a coal minor. He made his first knife at just 11 years old, by grinding down an old file into a blade. Jimmy Lile spent his early days as a high school teacher while serving in the U.S. Army, and as a construction contractor. He also served as a President of the Knifemakers’ Guild, and on the Board of Directors of the American Blade Smith Society.
As he got older, around 1971, Lile was known as “The Gentleman Lile” or The Arkansas Knifemaker. He was mostly known for making” The Mission” series, at the request of famous actor Sylvester Stallone to use in the first two Rambo movies. After creating the Rambo Knives, Lile designed several Bowies for former presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford Jr. and the lists goes on and on.
I won’t get into the details of the Rambo Knives, because we have already covered that in a previous article. Frankly, in my opinion, Jimmy Lile was simply the best of the best. Well folks, I hope you liked my little review on The Arkansas Knifesmith, and don’t forget to drop me a comment down below.
God Bless and Happy Hunting,