He came to Princeton from Waterloo East (Iowa) High School, where he was president of the student council and editor of the school newspaper. John majored in the SPIA and was Phi Beta Kappa. He was a member of the freshman crew and served on the Sovereign board. John was secretary of Prospect Club.
His wartime service was as an officer in the field artillery, and he was awarded the Purple Heart. After leaving the service, he graduated from law school at the University of Iowa.
John went on to serve as house counsel, corporate secretary, and vice president of administration and director of the Rath Packing Co. In 1962 he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard Business School and joined the faculty of the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University, where he taught for 20 years.
John also spent countless hours in volunteer work for students at Indiana University and for various organizations involved in land preservation, which reflected his love of nature and the outdoors.
John was predeceased by his daughter Cathlin in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Trudy; and four children, Alan, Lin, Brian, and Duane.