Writer, Humorist,
Stunt Double



John Shiels PhotoUntil the paper died, John Shields was a commentary page columnist for the New Hope Gazette, putting him in the heart, and the tradition, of literary-rich Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A former varsity baseball head coach, he recently marked his 25th anniversary as a kidney transplant recipient. That transforming experience, along with those gained as a teacher, healthcare administrator, stay-at-home dad and frequent guest at area operating rooms, provided a unique frame of reference for his column Everyday Things, which appeared weekly.  

A native Philadelphian, John holds a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Joseph’s University and an MBA in Health Administration from Temple University. Holding them is about all he’s done with them.

He is a father of three: a son with a degree in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh now philosophizing in Brooklyn as a bartender, a daughter practicing as a physical therapy assistant and a mom, and a second son, charming the Southern belles with his music in Charleston, South Carolina, where he graduated with a degree in fine arts management from the College of Charleston.

John was a performing singer/songwriter back before the first unplanned pregnancy. By day, a Catholic school teacher, but by night … a Catholic school teacher with a guitar! The onset of his kidney disease, however, forced him to leave teaching and the riotously fat salary he commanded.

Within four years, his medical condition had progressed to end stage, and he spent a year and a half on dialysis while attending graduate school fulltime. In August, 1990, he received his MBA degree. In September, 1990, a kidney transplant. He believes the 81,781 pills he’s taken since then give him a story to tell.

John lives in Hatboro, PA, one of the only places in America named after an apparel accessory – if you don’t count the Beltway.



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Bucks County, PA
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