John Hersey was born in 1943 in New York City to author/journalist John Hersey and Francis Ann Cannon. Hersey practiced drawing under Victor de Pau in East Hampton, NY before entering Yale University as an Art and Architecture major. In 1965, John Hersey received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale and entered the Yale Graduate School of Architecture and established a painting studio in a barn in New Haven. During his time at Yale Hersey studied photography under Walker Evans, the celebrated American photographer. In architecture school his project “House and Studio for a Sculptor” was exhibited as Best of First Year.