Born in Rochester, New York, and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, John Cole's interest in cartooning took root while drawing for his junior high newspaper, a downward spiral that accelerated both in high school and at Washington and Lee University where he doodled comic strips and cartoons for the student newspaper.
Upon graduation he was advised by a journalism professor that no one would pay him genuine U.S. tender for "drawing funny pictures." Taking the good professor's words to heart, Cole tried his hand at reporting, photography and editing for newspapers in Greenup and Danville, Kentucky. These ventures proved mercifully short for both Cole and his readers, and in 1985 he landed a gig as news artist and sometime cartoonist for the Durham Morning Herald (later The Herald-Sun) in Durham, North Carolina.
Exploiting the town's robust political mix, he eventually convinced his superiors to name him the paper's fulltime editorial cartoonist. He went on to claim honorable mention (1994) and first place (2004) in the John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition.
His work has been published in various newspapers and magazines worldwide and featured on the Web and national television. A collection of his cartoons, "Politics, barbecue & balderdash," was published in 1995.Cole joined the editorial department of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in April, 2005. He draws five to seven full-color cartoons there weekly, and is syndicated nationally by Cagle Cartoons.John, his wife Kate, daughter Caroline and son Woodson currently live in Waverly, Pennsylvania.