John was dismissed for teaching the Bill of Rights in his teaching debut. He also participated in desegregation sit-ins, resisted the draft, joined the Congress of Racial Equality, and did some jail time. Moving to the Friends School in Baltimore from 1962 to 1970, he then became executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland from 1970 to 1979 and from 1981 to 1984. In 1984 he returned to his first love, teaching, at the Park School in Baltimore, where he remained until retirement in 2011.
John was an ardent marathoner, running coach, and judge; a keen outdoorsman; bluegrass and country music aficionado; and golden retriever owner/breeder.
He died Jan. 14, 2021, of complications of dementia. He is survived by Mary, son John IV, and daughter Lisa Marie.