Born in Whittier, CA on July 26, 1926, John moved with his family to Taft, California at six months old. His father was a pioneer oil field chemist with Standard Oil Co. of California (now Chevron) and together with his four siblings the family lived on a Standard Oil lease in a company house. Like his mother and father, the five children attended the University of California after attending grade school and high school.
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in geology he stayed to attend graduate school. In 1951, he went to work for Standard Oil as a Field Geologist in southern California. He also had assignments in Washington, San Francisco, Bakersfield, Anchorage, and again in San Francisco at the headquarters.
In 1973, he was named Vice President of Exploration for Standard's Western Operations, Inc. In 1980, he was promoted to Exploration Vice President for Chevron Overseas, Inc.--(COPI). In 1984, Chevron Corp. was formed after merger with Gulf Oil Co. and he was named President of COPI with responsibility for Chevron's Production and Exploration worldwide, ex North America, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
He retired in 1990 and is no longer been active in the oil patch. He has been a member of AAPG since 1950 and an AAPG Foundation Trustee Associate since 1990. He and his wife Colleen currently live in Tiburon, CA.