Born and raised in New York City, John obtained his Bachelor's degree from Fordham University. He received a Master's degree from University of Chicago and had completed most of his work for his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. John had a background rooted in the classics and was an etymological expert. Many considered him a true scholar.
John began as a teacher of English at Grant Community High School in Fox Lake, Illinois, in the 1950's. In the 1960's, he taught English and was Chair of the English Departments at Glenbrook High Schools in Northbrook, Illinois. In 1969, the first year the College of Lake County opened, John was hired as Chair of the Communication Arts Division. In 1974, there was a merger of several areas, and he was appointed Chair of the Communication Arts, Humanities, and Fine Arts Division. He was a tirelessly dedicated professional and admirably courageous through his long illness in 1975 until August, 1978.
On John's personal side, he was a veteran of World War II, working in the Navy as an interpreter of Japanese. His knowledge of Japanese language and literature led him to write haiku poetry. John shared his life with his wife, Harriet, and three daughters (Kim Murphy, Joyce Heneberry, and Cathy Murphy) and a son Tom, who preceded him in death.
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