Born and raised in Joliet, John graduated from Joliet Catholic high school, and subsequently the University of Notre Dame, going to law school at the University of Illinois in Champaign. After working briefly for a law firm on the island of Saipan, near Guam, he returned to Will County permanently in 1997 as his younger brother Matt was losing his battle with malignant melanoma. He then joined the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor, leaving for a brief time to be an Assistant Attorney General in the High Tech Crimes Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Connor used his experience with digital forensics from training and County prosecutions as well as his Illinois AAG experience to design guidelines for the State's Attorney's Computer Crimes Unit, which executed over 100 search warrants and obtained convictions for child exploitation crimes. He also oversaw state wiretap operations, state overhears, and cold case investigation. An advocate of the grand jury as a citizen’s tool for justice, he presented many investigations and their witnesses to grand juries for their assistance and involvement during his tenure as a prosecutor.
Anticipating that the Drew Peterson investigation might require a less conventional approach, Connor drafted an order for the first Will County special grand jury in memory in November of 2007, immediately after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. He ran that special grand jury until it ultimately indicted Drew Peterson in 2009. He also prosecuted the “Hickory Street” stranglings and the Christopher Vaughn family annihilator case until that trial was set the same month as trial in the Peterson case.
John then went on to serve two terms as a State Representative for the 85th District of Illinois, which encompasses much of north-central Will County. During his time in the Illinois House of Representatives, his legislative priorities included improving how we fund our schools, improving health insurance coverage statewide, continuing criminal justice reform, restoring and improving the Will County transportation infrastructure, and improving high speed Internet access for all Illinoisans.
John decided to run for State Senator of the 43rd District of Illinois in the 2020 election. He won and currently serves in that capacity, where he continues his fight to improve the lives of his constituents and all Illinoisans. In the Senate, John currently serves as chair of the Criminal Law Committee as well as vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee. Sen. Connor also serves on the Financial Institutions, Healthcare Access and Availability, Human Rights, and Pensions Committees.
John lives in Lockport with his wife Julie, their children Colin, Jack and Charlie, and their golden retriever Circe.