John St. John was born in Oak Park in 1911. He is the younger brother of famed author and lecturer Robert St. John. After graduating from Oak Park and River Forest High School, he left Oak Park to study at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 1935. Later, he became a Maxwell Fellow at Syracuse University, where he got his Masters’ of Science in Public Administration in 1938. After serving in the military during World War II, he began his career in painting. He trained for several years under many artists including Jerry Farnsworth, Eliot O’Hara, Dong Kingman, Vaclar Vytlacil, and Jose Gutierrez.
In 1968, after painting for many years, he opened the Galeria John St. John in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an art gallery displaying solely his works. From 1974 to 198 he also owned a gallery space at the Old World Courtyard in Solvang, California. Many of his paintings are housed in permanent collections throughout the world, such as in the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel; and at his alma mater, Syracuse University.
John St. John is most famous for is his public mural works. Some of these include six commissioned public murals for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the “Epochs of Florida History” mural at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. John St. John published an autobiography, Visions of Reality in 1981. He died in 1986.