John Raphael Quinn was born in Riverside, California on March 28, 1929. He enrolled in the Immaculate Heart Seminary in El Cajon, California and completed his training at the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained as a priest for the diocese of San Diego in 1953 and received his licentiate in sacred theology the following year before becoming an associate pastor in St. George's Parish in Ontario, California. At the age of 38, he became the youngest bishop in the United States when Pope Paul VI appointed him auxiliary bishop of San Diego. In 1972, he became the first archbishop of Oklahoma City. He was the archbishop of San Francisco from 1977 until his retirement in 1995. He wrote several books including The Reform of the Papacy: The Costly Call to Christian Unity and Ever Ancient, Ever New: Structures of Communion in the Church. He died on June 22, 2017 at the age of 88.