John Hall Wheelock, poet, scholar, and editor, was born 9 September 1886 in Rockaway, Long Island, NY son of William Efner Wheelock and Emily Charlotte Hall. His grandfather on his mothers side, Reverend John Hall, D.D. was the pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York. His grandfather on his fathers side, William Almy Wheelock, was a highly successfuly businessman and civic leader.
John Hall Wheelock grew up in New York, spending his childhood summers on the shore at East Hampton, Long Island, where he developed an affection for the sea. He graduated Harvard in 1908, class poet. As a student he was editor of the Harvard Monthly; and published his first work, "Verses by Two Undergraduates", anonymously with his friend Van Wyck Brooks during their freshman year.
He spend two years in Germany, working on a post graduate degree at the University of Goettingen and the Univesity of Berlin. During this time he wrote a great deal of verse. Returning to America in 1910, he became associated with Charles Scribner and Sons, and by 1932 became a director of the corporation. In 1942 he became treasurer, and in 1947, upon the death of Maxwell Perkins, he became senior editor.
In 1936, his published volume of Collected Works was awarded the Golden Rose by the New England Poetry Society, as the most distinguished contribution to American poetry of that year. For his work "Poems Old and New" he received the Ridgely Torrence Memorial Award in 1956, and the Borestone..