John Erickson grew up in River Forest, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and he lives there today with his wife, Jane. At the age of twelve, he became legally blind due to pressure on his optic nerve. While attending high school, he learned to read Braille and to travel independently using a white cane. He attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a BA in Business Administration, and went on to earn an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
He started his career in the Trust Department of the First National Bank of Chicago on the Municipal Bond Desk. He then worked as the director of Fixed Income for LaSalle Bank’s Wealth Management Department and was then a Registered Investment Advisor for the Kovitz Investment Group in Chicago. He is recently retired but continues to push the limits of his diminished sight.
John enjoys adventure sports and being active. He considers himself “visually inconvenienced” rather than handicapped or impaired. He has hustled up the ninety-five stories of the John Hancock Building twice and rappelled three times down the Wit Hotel in downtown Chicago. He snow skis in the winter and sails on Lake Michigan during the summer. He has bungee jumped in Australia and taken trapeze lessons and skydived in California. He has even driven a sixty-ton tank over a working car!
He doesn’t believe that anyone should limit themselves based on perceived limitations—those imposed by others or by one’s self.