Dr. John Jennings was born in Philadelphia, and grew up in that area. He attended Penn State, from which he earned a BA in political science. After graduating, he worked for a year as a journalist, and then decided to pursue graduate studies. Having developed an interest in Asia and Japan specifically as an undergraduate, he entered the MA program in Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After earning his MA, Dr. Jennings decided to continue his studies at the University of Hawaii in the doctoral program in History.

After completing his doctoral program preliminary requirements, Dr. Jennings went to Japan for dissertation research, and spent four years there as a visiting researcher at Sophia University. Upon completing his doctorate, he spent two years teaching at Old Dominion and Norfolk State Universities in Virginia. After that, he joined the faculty of the United States Air Force Academy, where he is a professor in the Department of History. In 2009, he joined the faculty of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. As a member of the Norwich faculty, Dr. Jennings has designed and taught several courses in the SSDA and History MA programs.     

Dr. Jennings is the author of The Opium Empire: Japanese Imperialism and Drug Trafficking in Asia, 1895-1945 (Praeger, 1997) and Modern African, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern Military History: A Bibliography of English-Language Books and Articles Published from 1960-2013 (United States Air Force Academy Library, 2014). He has also published numerous articles and reviews, and is currently editing a book on the worst military leaders in history.