Jack was born right in Pennsylvania and grew up in New York. He graduated as a bachelar of mathematics and bachelar of information sciences from Lehigh University, where his father was a professor. He got his Phd degree of psychology in Columbia University. Then he spent 18 years (1977-1994) in IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he managed the legendary User Interface Institute. In 1994, he became the head of the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. Since 2003, Jack has been the Edward M Frymoyer Chair Professor and the co-Director of the College of IST's Laboratory for Computer Supported Collaboration and Learning.
Jack's wife, Professor Mary Beth Rosson, is also the co-Director of the Laboratory for Computer Supported Collaboration and Learning. They met at IBM and worked and collaborated since then. In HCI field, there are two very well known couples, one is Jack and Marybeth, the other is the Olson couple in University of Michigan. Interestingly, both of them received the CHI Lifetime Achievement Award. Jack and Mary Beth had a daughter, who is currently an undergraduate student in the Department of Sociology at Penn State. They have a lovely dog Kerby, who usually accompanies Jack while he is jogging.
Jack likes music. His favorate star is Bob Dylan. He played guitar since 13 years old. He also played the harmonicon while playing guitar just as Bob Dylan does. The left one of the following two pictures is Bob Dylan, the right one is Jack playing in a band. Guess which one is Jack. ;-)
* The 1st, 2nd, and last picture are from: http://cscl.ist.psu.edu/public/users/jcarroll/Self/Personal