Alexander was the son of James Wadell Alexander, one of the great theologians of the first half of the 19th century. His father died in 1859, and Alexander and his mother spent the Civil War years in Great Britain.

After the War, Alexander enrolled in the University of Virginia and lived there with his uncle on his mother’s side, Dr. James L. Cabell, a professor of medicine. The fact that Tazewell, Sclater and Howard were all in the medical studies probably drew Alexander into the Fraternity’s circle.

After leaving the University, Alexander became an executive in the Equitable Life Assurance Society where he worked for more than 65 years.

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