Wall served as a U.S. Navy pilot before enrolling at Auburn University to study industrial management. He joined O'Neal Steel as an inside sales representative in 1957. He rose through the posts of outside sales representative, district manager, group vice president and executive vice president before succeeding Jack Blackwell as president of the company.
Wall was active in trade organizations such as the Steel Service Center Institute and the National Association of Aluminum Distributors. During his tenure, O'Neal greatly increased its midwestern territory and processing capabilities.
- "Remembering Jim Wall, Past President of O'Neal Steel." (Spring 2014) O'Neal News, p. 27