John Howe was born on August 21st, 1957, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is a graduate of Ecole des Arts Dècoratifs de Strasbourg in France. Howe has illustrated many of Tolkien's works including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. He now lives in Neuchatel, Switzerland with his wife and son.
Howe, along with his colleague Alan Lee, was the lead artist for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. He had a brief cameo in Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring: in the prologue he was one of the "Nine Kings of Men" who received Rings of Power from Sauron.