John Dowling Jr. (A.K.A. John Joseph Dowling Jr.) is a photojournalist and writer who has been writing and taking photographs most of his life. Originally, he was very private about his writing, but over time, he began sharing his stories with others. John loves creating, and has often been told that he truly has the “heart and mind of an artist.” Despite the fact John is an artist, he has the ability to use both the left side and right side of his brain. John started working with computers in seventh grade. He was one of the first in his circle of friends to own a personal computer. John would go on to produce and direct feature films, photograph national ad campaigns, as well as, design database driven analytical software, and architect futuristic secure social media network platforms. John has often confided to others that his brain simply does not have an “OFF” switch.
John was born at Saint John’s Hospital in Queens, New York. He was premature and weighed in at only four pounds, fourteen ounces. Due to his parents lower income status, the hospital did not provide John with optimal care, or even, an incubator. Although now 6’1″, John was one of the smallest in his class through junior high school. At that point he began to grow at the rate of six to nine inches per year. As a toddler, despite his diminutive size, he quickly became the object of many model agents praise due to his nearly pure white hair and brilliant blue eyes. As a teenager John, would pursue modeling opportunities but his shyness prevented him from becoming a full-time model.
John has two sisters, his older sister Christine and his younger sister Joan, as well as a two nephews, and three nieces. John has two children now young adults John and Emily. He loves his family dearly and is very family oriented. John’s father was a carpenter and professional iron man. He was taken early in life at the age of sixty-two due to cancer. Johns’ father built fine furniture, remodeled houses, and was a general contractor. John often found sanctuary for his creative passions in building and carving with his father, spending much of his time in his father’s woodworking shop. During his early days, at Newbridge Road Elementary School, John was the main contributor to a life size mural, which graces the hallways to this day. John appeared in many of the schools seasonal and class plays, later going on to sing in chorus for three years and perform solos in junior high school, until sports became the object of John’s passion.
John has often commented that because of his dedication to sports as a young man, he knows what it is like to work as part of a team, and considers himself a team player. He wrestled for six years, from seventh grade through twelfth grade and for a few months through his first year of college. John participated in four varsity sports in his senior year of high school earning him an award given to only eight students from his graduating class (Football, Cross Country Running, Wrestling, Indoor Winter track). Outside of school John also had a professional boxing coach and trainer and ran with his father frequently. And yes, John is quite proud of those accomplishments. John also enjoyed running with his “ultra-marathon Iron Man father” who founded the Long Island Road Runners Club. John and his father often ran upwards of six miles per day, in and around Eisenhower Park as well as in hundreds of road races and several marathons. John held the record for the 220-meter relay, along with his high school teammates, for well over ten years. He ran his best mile in four minutes, fifty-nine seconds in one of his father’s Sunday races at Eisenhower Park. John was so obsessed with sports that he was six feet and only 145 lbs with the lowest possible body fat of most any professional or Olympic athlete.
John was an exceptional student when he applied himself. Even with his focus being on sports he received an honors diploma and graduated in the top ten percent of his class. Although he did not know it at the time, he has severe dyslexia, which made it nearly impossible to read long chapters, or novels. His almost photographic memory allowed him to succeed in school despite the significant challenges he had in reading. To this day John has never read a single novel, even though he writes them. He has however read millions of pages of technical data and tech manuals. Once John acquired his first computer he developed the ability to read and type nearly as fast as he can think, and considers the computer and camera as an extension of his brain.
John was raised in East Meadow and although he moved to Centerport, (considered Long Island’s “Gold Coast”) he often speaks fondly of his hometown, its educational system, and the camaraderie amongst his classmates that he to this day maintains. It was during his time in high school that John started dating a former graduate who was attending college. It was of her that John took his first set of semi-professional photographs of and she of him. Seeing those photographs, John’s older cousin Michael began to commission him for stock photography and modeling projects for The Stock Market (now the Corbis Stock Market). Within a year of graduating from high school, Corbis Stock Market began representing John Dowling the “Photographer.” By the time he was twenty-one, Johns’ photographs were appearing on magazine covers, including several covers of the then very popular, Long Island Nightlife Magazine, and in international advertising campaigns for fortune 500 companies, and in model portfolios and comp cards of some of the worlds most successful models.
John became a professional photographer upon his enrollment in Nassau County Community College despite the fact he was studying business and engineering. There he studied courses in law, accounting, statistics, art, and engineering believing it was more important to learn than to gain a diploma specific to one field of study . As his photographs started to appear in more and more magazines, the largest modeling agencies in the world started seeking John out. Many commented on his, uncanny ability, to use natural light to capture stunning images. Once his photographs started appearing on covers with professional models, John decided to take a break from obtaining his degree and pursue his dream of living and working in and around the arts. He took a break from his education and moved to SOHO, to work as a full time Editorial and Fashion Photographer. Over the years, John shot editorial pieces and campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, Henry Grethel, Tommy Hilfiger, and countless other fashion designers. He often jokes that after over twenty million photographs, who can keep track of who uses them, and for what.
As a result of introductions to other photographers through his association with Corbis Stock Market, other photographers represented by the same company started to ask John to model (mainly for sports and fitness projects). John learned many of the photographic techniques from such master photographers as Ken Haak, Richard Scavulo, Howard Bronstein, Steven Meisel and countless others (by working at the film labratory they processed their images at, assisting them on shoots and post production, and modeling for them as well). John also appeared in GQ, Men’s Guide To Fitness, Exercise Magazine, Sports Scene, and various sports and other fashioned themed advertising campaigns as a model. He would often refer to the modeling aspect of his career as a means to learn from the masters, but it was really female models that was his motivation to get in front of the camera. Johns’ heart was always more comfortable behind the camera then in front of it as he was shy despite his “cool” persona. It was not long after John moved to th Hells Kitchen, and shortly after SOHO that he upgraded to a Penthouse Duplex on the upper east side of NYC and opened his first photography studio Natural Light Studios. There he operated his photo studio during the day. At night, John bartended and often managed “the VIP list” at the Palladium. John worked as a waiter and bartender (and promoted Disco’s and night clubs on Long Island) for many years prior, to support his photography aspirations (The Wine Gallery, The Salty Dog, Uncle Sam’s, REDS, and many others).
But the Palladium was the largest and most popular night club in the world when John bartended there. They regularly hosted parties for celebrities. After their performances, John would often bartend for them or even join them as a guest. John was a guest at the first ever MTV Music Awards, The Directors Guild of America Awards, Countless Iconic performances by performers like BB King and Robert Palmer) and many other celebrity hosted parties. After a year of living in the “fast lane”, John left the Palladium and became the National Account Manager for New York Film Works, a notable professional photo finishing and film processing laboratory. It was at New York Film Works that John interacted with the world’s top ad agencies and photo studios . John learned every aspect of the traditional darkroom in the off hours and eventually became a master of most every darkroom technique. Although John held both creative and technical positions, John is embracing writing more and more as he realizes the reaction to his writings.
John was diagnosed in his early twenties with several genetic mutations that effect his body’s ability to metabolize certain fats, commonly known as Lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides. In fact, the medical community was baffled as to how he could survive when he did not die shorty after his diagnosis as the doctors predicted. In ways that John could not at the time know, walking with cameras upwards of ten miles daily allowed John to grow new arteries and survive where the mutations were destroying them. That and advanced medical technologies gave John a future he was never meant to have organically. However, it was not without enduring a great deal of pain through the years. John owes his life to the incredible surgeons such as Dr. Pad, Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, Dr. Richard Mattano, and most recently Dr. Jeffery Moses, who in mid 2013 opened two 4 inch, 100% blocked, arteries in John’s heart after over ten years of failed attempts and failed stents. John also credits his primary care physician, Dr. Paul Leva, who relentlessly and passionately ordered test after test and discovered that John had several other challenges and injuries that were masked by the excruciating pain from very early onset claudication (PAD) and the myalgia caused as a side effect of extreme dosages of statins (several that were killing people that they eventually took off the market).
While John credits the surgeons with making him the “bionic man” and saving his life on so many occasions, he often refers to his family and children as his inspiration. Their love motivated him to walk through the pain and grow new arteries when the procedures and surgeries failed to do so. John was married to his former wife Stephanie. They brought two amazing children into the world, John and Emily. Stephanie and John have been divorced for quite a long time and remain estranged from each other.
Although John is an extremely conservative father, he is a non- conservative person in generally. Despite his traditional and conservative foundation, John often writes about the incredible chapters of love he shared with so many beautiful women. John never expected to publish, or even share,” Chapters Of Love Chasing Sunrise,” prior to his departure from this world. However, in 2016, after sharing a few chapters with close friends and receiving tremendous enthusiasm, John decided to update his manuscript and complete his novel. “Chapters Of Love Chasing Sunrise” will be available for digital download in both Hard Cover and paperback in 2017.
John’s obsessive love for photography and writing has afforded him the opportunity to create with, and collaborate with, thousands of successful models and actors from around the world. John’s talent and drive have taken him to many different areas of the world and provided him with more “Chapters of Love” than he could ever have imagined. John has photographed, interviewed, directed, and written stories for and with, (mostly as a ghost writer) a plethora of major celebrities and dignitaries including:
Billy Joel, Neyo, Taylor Swift, PSY, Bette Midler, Alec Baldwin, F. Murray Abraham, Bon Jovi, Muhammad Ali, Modern English, Martin Short, Jill Nicolini, Melissa Baker, Willie Nelson, Ashley Massaro, Melissa Etheridge, Chris Angel, Woodie Harrelson, Deborah Gibson, Matt McCoy, Christa B. Allan, Hunter Gomez, Jane Sibbett, Anne Ramsay, Carol Alt, Ashle Dawson, Alan Zweibel, Patty Duke, Rex Allan Jr., Kristen & The Noise, John Leguzamo, Southside Johny and the Asbury Jukes, Matthew Walton, Meatloaf, Pat Obrian, Catya Sassoon, Adam Ferrara, MC Hammer, Donald Trump, Alicia Keys, Pater O’brian, Aubrey Oday, Carmen Electra, Ivanka Trump, Charles Wang, Clark Gillies, Jessica Lundy, Toderick Hall, Scott Adsit, Rachel Dratch, Mario Cantone, Ittai Shapira, The knights Orchestra, Val Kilmer, Stephen Dorph, Jackie Martling, Bernadette Peters, Eddie Money, Daryl Hanna, Mathew Johnson, Anita Baker, Jenny McCarthy, Lionel Richie, Lou Gramm, James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, FireFlight, Angelo Fraboni, Steve Schirippa, Toni Spinelli, Federico Castelucio, Ashley Tisdale, Tim Minchin, Sharon Durig, Liza Minelli, Gary Coutier, Mayor Julianni, Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg, Elliot Spitzer, Dee Snider, Connie Ha, Candice Bergen, Timothy Hutton, Casey Casum, Sara Conca, Dennis Rodman, Lauren Jones, Chazz Palminteri, Ted Lange, Hector Elizondo, Stephen Baldwin, Chris Berman, Margie Swearingen Hammer, Sergio Garcia, Ralph Machio, Bobby Nystrom, Vic Latino, Wesley Walker, Raja Bell, The Wallflowers, Phil Micholson, John Forsythe , Kim Karfashian, Katie Lee Joel, Steve Gutenberg, Charles Dolan, Joe Perry, Jackie Tohn, Allyn Rose, Governor Carey, Richard Greico, Kevin Brown a.k.a. Dot Com, Martha Stewart, Kris Kristopherson, Vinny Vella, Mark Linn Baker, Tiger Woods, Kiera Chaplin, O’Neal McKnight, Robert Celestino , Andy Warhol, Vidal Sassoon, Carson Daly , Mario Lopez, Courtney Lopez, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kelly Lebroc, Allison Hangendorf , Larry Hoff, Ryan Seacrest.
John, lives in gratitude, pays it forward and cherishes each and every chapter of love. He is single and has stayed that way for some time, believing it to be unfair to marry again with his health constantly roller coasteering. However, now that the “Crack in John’s Heart” has healed, and he is stronger than he has been most of his adult life, John is looking for his soulmate. John shares from his heart and his “Chapters Of Love Chasing Sunrise” novel is a true miracle story.
When John is asked if his stories are true his reply is always the same, “Fact? Fiction? Or Fantasy? I will never tell! Ever!” John believes deeply that “Love is the ONLY THING we take with us when we leave this world, and the ONLY THING we leave behind.” He looks forward to writing more and hopefully finding his next and final love, the great novel of love he longs for.
In January of 2018 John’s health took a major setback as after falling and breaking two ribs in Switzerland, he was not able to walk for years. As a result he gained weight, and drove himself to the Saint Francis Hospital Emergency room where he was admitted and was immediately put into surgery for three emergency surgeries. The first was another fempop bypass on his right leg which was again 100 percent blocked from his groin to his calf. Once that healed a bit his carotid artery (which was 95% blocked and causing memory issues and was causing john to pass out) was fixed in an urgent surgery that left John’s face and neck looking like a basketball for weeks. His entire neck and torso turned blue from the extensive bleeding that took place but his surgeon was able to save him.
Finally John underwent open heart surgery where an artery that they took out of his left forearm was used to create two bypasses for his heart. He was told that walking saved his legs from having to be amputated and ultimately his life as the bypasses were performed on his heart connecting arteries he grew by walking. John has spent the entire first quarter of 2018 in cardiac rehab and is slowing getting back to writing, creating and producing. He still can not believe that the incredible surgeons at Saint Francis Hospital were able to complete all three surgeries that were all life and limb threatening without unwanted side effects like a heart attack, stroke, or worse. The nursers once again were John’s angels on earth.
John is now back to walking and is producing a reality series called John Dowling Interviews which is filmed on location when John is walking, and is enjoying sharing model citizens stories as he grows arteries and pays it forward any way he can. Live in Gratitude. Pay it Forward. Cherish your Chapters Of Love.