John was born and raised in Superior, WI. He is a 1965 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a commission in the U.S. Navy. He left the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander and entered the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating cum laude in 1971. He joined the Los Angeles Law Firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton. John was a corporate banking partner with Sheppard Mullin for over 30 years and became of-counsel with the firm in 2007. He is also a member of the Business Law Section of the ABA, past president of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyer, past advisory member of the National Uniform Commercial Code Revision Committee for Article 9 (Secured Transactions).
John and his wife Katheen have been married since 1967, and currently reside in Superior, WI. They have one son.