John Donovan graduated from Ponaganset High School in 1968. During his time at Ponaganset, John played basketball and baseball in each of his four years. He served as a captain of both teams in his senior year. John was known as one of the best basketball players and baseball players in the league during his time as a Chieftain. He was well known as one of the best pitchers in the state throwing three no-hitters during his career. In John’s sophomore year, he threw the first no-hitter in school history.
John’s time on the basketball was outstanding as well. He lead the team to their first basketball championship capturing the Class C North Championship with a 9-1 record in his senior year. John was one of the league's scoring leaders during his senior year consistently scoring in double figures. After graduation, John attended Rhode Island Junior College and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1969. He is self-employed as a salesman representing manufacturing companies. John has been married to his wife Patricia for 44 years. He has two daughters Erin and Julie. He also has 5 grandchildren. Kelsie 16, Braden 12, Johnny 4, Chase 3, and Cassidy 18 months. He and his wife live in Smithfield.