John Ramsey Miller was born in Greenville, Mississippi

He attended Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi where he studied art.

In 1970 he majored in photography at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale.

In 1972 he was working as a still photographer and graphic designer at an ABC TV network affiliate station in Mississippi when he accidentally became embroiled with Martha Mitchell and the burgeoning Watergate scandal. He was fired from his job for trying to help a friend protect Mrs. Mitchell from the press. Thanks to Helen Thomas, he conducted a filmed interview with Ms. Mitchell, which aired on The Dick Cavett Show.

In 1980 John opened a commercial photography studio on Frenchman Street near the French Quarter. He did commercial work for advertising agencies and produced his own personal portrait series as well. He showed his portraits in galleries and museums and received an Endowment of the Arts grant to supplement his personal portrait work in 1981.

In 1981 John set up a studio in a narrow hallway of Death Row at Angola and produced a series of formal portraits of the inmates. Over the next four years he set up a portable studio and produced formalized portraits of individuals associated with "groups." He photographed klansmen in their robes, Skinheads and Identity Christians as well as their children. He photographed artists, entertainers, prostitutes, doctors, lawyers, drug addicts and politicians. His portrait work has been shown in museums and included in several books and national magazines. The Death Row series was published in Oxford American, and his portraits of white supremacists in New Times and The Miami Herald's Sunday magazine, TROPIC.

In 1989 John worked as a freelance copywriter and also wrote feature articles that he sold to the Miami Herald's Sunday magazine, TROPIC.

In 1990 he wrote, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, a non-fiction book on 2 Live Crew and the obscenity trials.

In 1992 he began to write fiction.

In 1992 The Miller family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 1994 Bantam bought his book, The Last Family. The book was a Literary Guild Main Selection, was published in twelve languages, was optioned by Hallmark Entertainment for a feature film, made it to #16 on the New York Times bestsellers list, and is still in print.

Between 1998 and 2004 John concentrated on spending time with his family and on researching and writing five books including Inside Out, Upside Down and Side By Side. Between then and 2008 he wrote, Too Far Gone, Smoke & Mirrors, and The Last Day.

In 2017 John wrote The McCartys of Merigold, Mississippi "The Pottery" a 350 page coffee table book about Pup and Lee McCarty and their art.

In 2018 John completed A Good Man, Except For The Killing.

He lives in Concord, NC with Susan, and dogs named Critter, Sambo, and Dixie.