Dubro earned an undergraduate degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from Boston University, received his master's degree from Columbia University, and did graduate work at Harvard University. He moved to Toronto from his native Boston to teach English literature at Victoria College at the University of Toronto.
In 1973- January 9, 1974 when it aired, he researched a news-breaking hour-long documentary on espionage in Canada for CBC Television's entitled The Fifth Estate:The Espionage Establishment. The title of "the fifth estate" was used 19 months later by CBC TV for its now long-running investigative TV magazine show. He then became one of the producers of Connections, a series on organized crime broadcast on CBC Television in 1977 and 1979. It won the Anik and ACTRA awards for best documentary and the Michener Award. Dubro then became a researcher and associate producer for the fifth estate.
After leaving the CBC to work as a freelancer, Dubro wrote five books on organized crime in Canada and its international connections. He has also researched, written, or produced documentaries on organized crime, Cuba, the KGB and the CIA that have appeared on CBC, PBS, A&E, Citytv and CTV. He co-authored the definition of "organized crime" for all editions of The Canadian Encyclopedia.
He was president of the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) for two years and has been awarded its 2002 "Derrick Murdoch" award for his non-fiction crime writing and his many years of CWC work. In more recent years, Dubro, a longtime activist on policing issues in the LGBT community, has written on crime and policing matters for Xtra!. In 2016 he was awarded the "lifetime Achievement" award by Inspire Awards in Toronto. [ see Inspire Awards webpagehttp://inspireawards.ca/]. He has also acted as consultant and interview subject on the History Channel TV series Mob Stories. He is now a freelance crime journalist based in Toronto.
- Mob Rule: Inside the Canadian Mafia (Macmillan, 1985)
- King of the Mob: Rocco Perri and the Women Who Ran His Rackets, co-authored with Robin Rowland (Penguin, 1987)
- Mob Mistress (Macmillan, 1988)
- Undercover: The Cases of the RCMP's Most Secret Operative, co-authored with Robin Rowland (Octopus, 1991)
- Dragons of Crime: Inside Asian Mobs in Canada (Octopus and M & S, 1992, 1993), national Film Board and A & E, CBC documentary
- "Introduction" to Morley Callaghan's Strange Fugitive (Toronto: Exile Editions, 2004), originally published 1928
- Preface to The Toronto You are Leaving by Gordon Anderson (Untroubled Heart Public, 2006)
- Wade Rowland, Making Connections (Gage, 1979).
- Mob violence sign that no one is in charge: Expert | The London Free Press
- "Fires kindle fears of feud", The London Free Press.
- "Mourners pack church for Rizzuto funeral" (archive at [dead link])
- "Rizzuto shooting weakens family's power: crime experts", CTV Montreal News.
- 'No Surrender Crew' aptly named
- CRIME WRITERS OF CANADA | Media Advisory and Photo Opportunity - Arthur Ellis Award winners announced
- "Police crack down on alleged Italian-Canadian Mafia in Europe", CBC News.
- Speedy justice for Papalia hitman - Canada - CBC News
- Requiem pour un mafioso
- Omicidio Cuntrera: è guerra di mafia. Liborio Sciascia, il…
- Mafia Enforcer - Cecil Kirby, Thomas C. Renner - Google Boeken
- Rocco Perri: The Story of Canada's Most Notorious Bootlegger - Antonio Nicaso - Google Boeken
- Michel Auger, Jean-Paul Murray, The Biker Who Shot Me: recollections of a crime reporter.
- James Higdon, The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate's Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History.
- Robert J. Hoshowsky, Unsolved: True Canadian Cold Cases.
- "Strange Fugitive, Introduction to the 2004 edition of Strange Fugitive published by Exile Editions in Toronto, By James Dubro, Journalist, Editor, and Free-Lance Writer."
- "James Dubro's writing criminally intense Mafia expert's first brush with the Mob came when he was 12", Toronto Star.
- Cecil Rosner, Behind the Headlines (Oxford University Press, 2008).
- Saturday Night - Google Boeken
- How to interview: the art of asking questions - Paul McLaughlin - Google Boeken
- City Magazine - Google Boeken
- City Magazine Annual - Google Boeken
- Prime time at ten: behind-the-camera battles of Canadian TV journalism - Knowlton Nash - Google Boeken
- Subversion of Law Enforcement Intelligence Gathering Operations: Organizing ... - United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the ...
- Wade Rowland, Making Connections (Gage, 1979), and Cecil Rosner, Behind the Headlines (Oxford University Press, 2008).
- Also Rosner, Behind the Headlines (2008).
- The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: 4: Fourth Annual Collection.
- The Crime Writers of Canada website.
- Pride Toronto Board Candidates.
- "WHERE ARE THE COPS?: Not shaking hands on Church St", James Dubro, Toronto Xtra, March 31, 2005.
- The Crime Writers of Canada website. Also Xxtra MAgazine website.