John Cosby was born in Hollywood, California and raised on the west coast. At an early age he began to draw and paint and was lucky enough to have a grandmother who was an oil painter. ”She would give me the paint, some brushes and a scrap of canvas and set me off to paint. This early experience took the fear out of creating a painting,” said Cosby. At 18 he was chosen as a communications advanceman for President Nixon and began to travel the globe, continuing in this capacity through the Ford Administration. What most interested him were the great works of art he encountered. ”They haunted me and helped set the course for my career as a painter”. After leaving the White House, Cosby rebuilt an old classic sailing sloop designed by Nathaniel Herrishoff. With a friend (who had dreams of being a writer) set sail up and down the eastern seaboard in the inland waterway for three years. Thus he began his art career.