Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Nov. 10, 1881, to Laura Emma Pettibone & Jacob Montgomery Thornburgh.
President of The National Association of Referees; a graduate of the University of Tennessee, A.B. and L.L.; Graduate work at Columbia University. Began practicing in 1903 with Cornick, Wright and Frantz.; U.S. Commissioner from 1903-1920; appointed Referee in Bankruptcy 1920.
John Thornburgh was a member of the B.P.O.E., in College Phi Gamma Delta & member of Phi Kappa Phi; Past Grand Knights of Columbus, Knoxville, Tn. Chapter.
Married Sarah Matlock in 1910 in Riceville, Tennessee. They had three children, Margaret, Mary and John Jr.; & a member of the examining Board of Practicioners for the US District Court for the Eastern Region of Tennessee.