John Francis is famously known by his nickname, The Planetwalker. He is an environmentalist. He is also famous for his 17 years of silent vow.

Personal life

John was born in 1946. He was born in Philadelphia to a West Indian immigrant. When he was young, he moved to California with his parents. John witnessed the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill and had an idea of not riding any motor vehicle, ever. Later, one of his neighbors died due to unknown cause. This steered John into vowing to never ride a motor vehicle ever. He kept his vow for 22 years. He travelled on foot everywhere. John became infamous for his arguments with his colleagues and friends. This lead to a vow of silence since his birthday in 1973. It started as a birthday gift to his community by not talking for a day. He found it valuable and continued it for 17 years. He communicated through gestures and writing. He broke his vow on Earth Day of 1990. The next day, he met with an accident and was forced to ride an ambulance making his break his vow of not riding a motor vehicle.

He now lives in Point Reyes Station, California with his wife and two children. Names of his wife and two sons are not known to media. He has not talked about his family in any of his interviews or books. It is assumed that his marriage is going smooth as there are no rumors of separation. His romantic life and personal details are not known to the media. It is not known whether he had been married before. It is not known whether or not he was associated with any extra marital affair or domestic problem. His salary, net worth and revenue through his book are not known to the media. Other than his career biography, his life is far away from the media’s eyes.


During his silent vow, he completed three degrees, did Ph.D in Land Management and many others. He built a boat to sail to Montana to complete a degree from University of Montana. While studying his master’s degree, he taught a few classes too.

He took his doctoral studies in oil spills. Since 1994, he started using public transportations to aid his works. He was employed by US Coast Guard on a project to manage oil spills. He was named as UN Environmental Program Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. In 2009, he was in a film by Tourism Victoria.

He is also an author who is famous for his book, Planetwalker: How To Change Your World One Step At A Time. His life story has been optioned by Universal studio for movie rights. It is said that Will Smith will be taken up his character. He has founded a non-profit educational organization under the name, Planetwalk to raise environmental awareness and to foster research by young people’s research about environment. He became the first National Geographic Education Fellow in 2010. In his life, he has walked the entire width of 48 states of USA and also has walked to South America.

Last Modified: Mar 12, 2020

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