Biography: John Alvin Willis was born on October 16, 1916. He was from Morristown, Tennessee. He studied English at Milligan College, and then did graduate work at Harvard University, Indiana University, and the University of Tennessee. He served in the United States Naval Reserve during World War II. He taught English in the New York Public School System for over 20 years. He was the editor in chief of Theatre World and Screen World for 43 years.
Trivia: He also served as an editor on Dance World, Opera World, and A Pictorial History of the American Theatre 1860-1985. The marquees of Broadway theaters were dimmed in his honor on June 30, 2010.