Born on December 5, 1936 in Riverview, Texas, John attended Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, New Mexico. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
Drafted in 1959 by the Cleveland Browns, his addition to the team proved to be one of the most important drafts in the history of the Cleveland Browns. John played for the Cleveland Browns from 1959 to 1967, then the Washington Redskins from 1967 to 1968. During the off seasons of 1960-1963 he was a junior high school teacher at Addison Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
John’s NFL career did not stop on the field. He continued by becoming the Director of Pro Scouting with the Dallas Cowboys from 1975 to 1991. He created Player Programs/Player Development programs for the NFL in 1991. He served as Vice President/Player Personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and also served as Assistant Director, Pro/College Scouting for the Baltimore Ravens until his retirement in 2002.
John has been involved with the NFL for over forty years and currently serves as the Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance. He is also the President of Wooten Printing and an Independent Associate of Ignite/Stream Energy, located in Dallas, Texas.
Honors include All State Football and Basketball in high school, Associated Press All-Big Seven, All American Honors at Offensive Guard at the University of Colorado in 1958. He was named to the Chicago Tribune’s College All Star Game in 1959, Sporting News NFL All Star Team in 1965, named to the NFL Pro Team teams in 1966 and 1967, Cleveland Browns All-Time All-Star Team in 1979, and University of Colorado’s All-Century Football in 1989. He was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, Colorado Hall of Fame in 2004 and Colorado Honored Jersey in 2005. In addition, he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends Club in November 2010, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and in 2018 was inducted into the New Mexico Hall of Fame. He also has three NFL World Championship rings.
John has a deep commitment to the communities in which he has lived and understands the value of giving back. He has served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers in Cleveland, Ohio, Member of City Planning Commission in Cleveland and has been awarded the William O. Walker Community Excellence Honoree in 2002 in Cleveland and was a member of the National Minority Economic Development Council under the Johnson Administration. John is a member of Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington, Texas.
John and his wife, Juanita, currently reside in Arlington, Texas. They have five children together: Adrienne, Gina, Jennifer, Lynette, John David (deceased – May 10, 2009); five grandchildren, Lauren, Gabriel, Michael, Quentin and Sydney and one great grandson, Amani.