John Neal was born on March 5th, 1926 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He is the seventh of eight children and spent his early years on a farm located along the Catawba River. He graduated from Reid High School in May of 1944 and was drafted into the Army. John served our fighting forces overseas in Italy as part of the D-day invasion and returned to build a successful career as a commercial artist and technical illustrator. He was married to the late Blanche Boomer for over fifty years and together they raised three children, Cyndi, John, and Libby. He is the proud grandfather of four and great grandfather of four. John is retired from his career in art but continues to draw and create beautiful work at his home in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.