John H. Reese was born in the Jefferson hospital in Birmingham, AL in 1945. He went to Fairfield High school in Tennessee, and graduated in 1963. He then went to Auburn University and went into Pre-Engineering. John received his engineering degree in 1969. The reason it took him 6 years to graduate is because he had to work his way through school on the cooperative education program. His brother-in-law worked at NASA at the time, and he got John interested in the Space Program. John then decided to co-op with the Marshall Space Flight Center and he applied with the Engineering Cooperative Education office. He then decided to send his resume to NASA, and received a job offer soon after. In this job, he helped do all the structural testing on the various modules and components of the Saturn I and Saturn fives. He was also involved in the Hubble Space Telescope Mock-Up. John's job was to come up with the foot-restraint systems, tether points, etc.