Jim Ware was born in Cork, but raised in Waterford. He attended the De La Salle School in Waterford city, a famous nursery of young hurlers. He worked as a bookbinder with Harvey's of George's St., Waterford. He married Alice O'Donnell, a poet and playwright, and lived in Waterford. Jim played on the Waterford hurling teams of the 1940's. His position on the team was that of goalie. He became captain of this team, and was the oldest winning captain of an All-Ireland team. Waterford won its first All-Ireland title in 1948 when they defeated Dublin in the decider. He played on a number of Railway Cup teams and was captain of the Munster team that won in 1949.