Born in 1938, John David Harris was educated at Shoreham Grammar School in Sussex, after which he was awarded the art teacher's diploma by the then Brighton College of Art. This was followed by twenty-five years teaching at secondary level, during which time he was seconded to Reading University where he gained the Advanced Diploma in Education. Finally, in 1976, at Manchester University, he secured his master's degree.
John left education in his mid-forties and built a property portfolio with his late wife. Then, at seventy, he handed over the business to his son and turned his hand to authorship.