Artist John Gaddis was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1929. He was raised in Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended Millsaps College. He earned is bachelor’s degree in engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He only began painting later in life.
He served in the Korean War as an engineer and opened an engineering firm when he returned to Jackson. He moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1976, returning to Jackson in 1983.
He opened the John Gaddis School of Art in 1990, where he taught watercolor painting. John Gaddis died in 1993.