Born on February 27, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York.
In 1964 John graduated from Immaculata High School, a small Catholic school in Manhattan. Upon graduation he entered the Holy Cross Seminary. After the seminary John went to work for Western Electric Company as an installer.  In 1967 he took a leave of absence in order to volunteer for the U.S. Army where he served until to 1970. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service during his combat tour in Vietnam. Following active duty John served in the reserves until 1973.

In 1977, John graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and in 1993 received his alternative certification in Special Education from UTEP.

Career Success

John retired from his position as a Manager of Network Operations with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company after a twenty-five year telecommunications career. He subsequently taught fourth and fifth grade for the El Paso ISD, was a financial planner with Waddell and Reed, and consulted not-for-profit organizations. John has lived in Texas most of his life where he and his family have owned and operated several small businesses.

John received national recognition for his expertise on issues that impact our relationship with Mexico, assuring a balance between securing the border and promoting international trade. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, appointed John as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and the Southwest Border Task Force. He is the co-founder of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association.

John married his wife, Tram in 1970.

John married his wife, Tram in 1970.

Family Life

John married his wife, Tram in 1970. He and Tram are the proud parents of 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.


  • In 1999, John was elected to the El Paso City Council where he served three terms. In 2005, he was elected as mayor and served two four-year terms. He is the longest serving elected official in the history of the El Paso City Government.
  • John was inducted into the Fort Bliss Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to the solders and military families.
  • In 2012, John was named 5th Best Mayor in the World for his high ethical standards by the City Mayor’s Foundation, a London based think tank.
  • He was voted Best Elected Official three times by El Paso Inc. and What’s Up El Paso.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation recognized him with the Road Hand Award and the Teens in the Driver’s Seat Award for his leadership on transportation issues.
  • He’s received the Bi-National Border Achievement Award from the U.S./Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
  • The El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association has twice designated John as “Legislator of the Year” for his tireless support of the men and women in public safety.