John was born March 22, 1942, in Laurinburg, N.C., to George and Angelika Karson Bellios, both of whom were born in Greece. He grew up in a close-knit family and attended the Covington Street School before transferring to Peddie in 1956, where he was elected student-body president his senior year.
At Princeton, John majored in history, his thesis titled “Profiles in Liberation, 1938-1963.” He joined Charter and considered himself “more of a keen observer than active participant in extra-curricular activities.”
After spending a few years in advertising in New York City, John pursued advanced degrees in history, initially at the University of California, Berkeley, and, when his father became ill, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he earned his master’s degree and doctorate. John’s great love was teaching American history, doing so at UNC Chapel Hill for 25 years and then, starting in 2001, at UNC Charlotte and Strayer University. In 1977 John published The Open Road: A Study in the Origins of the Beat Generation, 1944-1955.
John is survived by his sisters, Connie and Toula, to whom the class sends sincere condolences.