With degrees from Stanford (American History), Chicago (Ethics) and Oregon (Law), John's views on freedom of speech gained national attention during the debate over the works of artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe funded by the national Endowment. Fired by George H.W. Bush, John became a passionate advocate for writers and artists, especially those challenging the established order.
His book Leaving Town Alive describes the censorship debate and Out of Tune is a primer for thoughtful citizenship. His musical comedy SPIN received the Oregon Literary Arts Award and was produced in 2008 at Oregon State staring David Ogden Stiers of M*A*S*H fame. He also has received Associated Press and Public Radio News Director awards for his commentaries on Public Radio.
His latest manuscript (not yet ready for publication) is entitled The Perfect Catch and is about how the metaphor of rowing gives insights into philosophy. In the summer of 2014 he won four gold medals at the Canadian National Masters competition in Burnaby.