John Deaton is a U.S. Marine veteran, cancer survivor, father to three daughters, trial attorney, author and someone who overcame impossible odds to build a life for his family and become a champion for other underdogs.


John grew up in Highland Park, Michigan, a subsection of Detroit. Highland Park was once a thriving neighborhood fueled by the birth of the American auto industry.  From 1972 to the present day, Highland Park has consistently been ranked among the poorest and most dangerous communities in America.

John was born in Highland Park in 1967 into generational poverty at a time of extreme racial tension and violence in the suffering city of Detroit.  He was one of six siblings born to one mother and four different fathers. The fathers were rarely in the picture, but despite the challenges of poverty and abuse, John’s mother held the family together with the help of food stamps, welfare, and odd jobs whenever possible.

John’s youth was marked by violence, physical and sexual abuse, and a survival-first mentality.  After being held at gunpoint on his very first day at Highland Park High School, John became a high school dropout like his siblings before him. He later found a small Catholic school that would greatly discount his tuition and allow him to work off the payments.  He became the only member of his family to graduate high school, receiving a partial college scholarship that allowed him to keep fighting to achieve the American Dream.

graduates from college & joins marines

John went on to college at Eastern Michigan University. In his junior year, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent treatment while still pursuing his degree. Against all odds, John graduated from Eastern Michigan magna cum laude and was accepted into Boston’s New England School of Law in 1992. Barely able to afford tuition, John found affordable rent in Roxbury and worked many hours as a runner and server at Legal Seafoods. John graduated New England School of Law cum laude in 1995.

While in law school, John enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was selected to represent Massachusetts over students from surrounding law schools, including Harvard. In 1994, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. John was assigned as a Judge Advocate at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona where he served first as Marine Senior Defense Counsel and then as Chief Prosecutor. John also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Arizona. After completing his duties in Arizona, John became an Evidence and Trial Advocacy Instructor at the Naval Justice School and Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.  John continues to teach Trial Advocacy and Evidence at Roger Williams School of Law and recently coached the Mock Trial team for UMass Law. Following a non-combat injury, John was medically retired from the Marines in 2002. For his service, John received the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

fights for victims & best selling author

For over twenty years, John has been practicing law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and surrounding states, representing mesothelioma and cancer victims against Fortune 100 companies. In 2006, with small children and massive student loan debt, John decided to take a chance and founded his own small law practice where he continued to specialize in advocating for victims and their families. John not only fought for asbestos victims in court, but also traveled to Washington D.C. to oppose legislation that would ban asbestos litigation and leave victims without options. 

In 2017, John discovered asbestos was an ongoing, pernicious threat to children around the world through popular make-up playsets sold by Claire’s stores. He personally funded the testing of Claire’s products from across the globe, finding all to be contaminated with asbestos. John’s pro bono efforts prompted an international response that led to the destruction of Claire’s products and changes in testing standards.

Shortly thereafter, the COVID pandemic hit.  John took out a home mortgage loan and PPP loan to help pay his employees as the court systems shut down and took up writing as a therapeutic exercise. Friends and family convinced John to publish his therapeutic writings, believing they could be helpful to those dealing with similar circumstances. In 2023, he published Food Stamp Warrior, a starkly candid and raw memoir detailing John’s personal experiences and escape from a life of poverty, abuse and violence. John dedicated his book to his mother, Mary Mills, and it became an Amazon bestseller within 24 hours of its debut.

Took on the Government

John became interested in “cryptocurrencies,” like Bitcoin in late 2016. Remembering his youth, and his mother often relying on predatory inner-city “check cashing” operations to make sure he and his siblings had something to eat, he was particularly drawn to cryptocurrency’s ability to help the underprivileged and unbanked. 

In 2020 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit that would ban the third largest cryptocurrency, XRP, wiping out both large and small investors who in some cases had staked their entire life savings by investing in XRP. John, a small-firm asbestos lawyer without any securities experience, developed a novel legal theory and filed a pro bono amicus brief on behalf of these individuals – eventually ending up with more than 75,000 individual token holders around the world. Ultimately, John and the token holders were successful – again, he had defied the odds and the underdog(s) survived. Because of his efforts in the case, John became amicus counsel in other SEC enforcement actions and was awarded the Defender of Freedom Award. John is a regular cable news contributor and sought-after speaker on issues of cryptocurrency and the excesses of the financial services industry.

running for us senate

John resides in Swansea, MA. His oldest daughter resides in California and is a recent USC graduate, while his second daughter is a senior at UMass Amherst, and his youngest is entering kindergarten in the fall. 

Having overcome so much, John believes it is time we elect someone to the U.S. Senate who understands the struggles of everyday Americans. He has served his country as a Marine, served asbestos victims and cryptocurrency holders as an attorney, and now hopes to serve the people of Massachusetts as their U.S. Senator.