John Ihle, printmaker and educator, was born in Chicago on February 1, 1925. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces in America and Europe from 1943 until his discharge in 1945. A recipient of the GI Bill, Ihle enrolled in 1946 at Illinois Wesleyan University where he was greatly influenced by instructor Francis Chapin, a former student of Hans Hofmann. Ihle enrolled at the University of Iowa during the summer of 1949 specifically to study printmaking with Mauricio Lasansky. He returned to Wesleyan in the fall and received his B.F.A. in 1950.
Returning to Chicago, he joined the staff of the Chicago Museum of Natural History as a botanical illustrator. However by 1952, Ihle relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1954, he enrolled in advanced studies in art and art education at San Francisco State College and, the following year, he joined the faculty of San Francisco State University where he received tenure as an Assistant Professor in 1959. During the 1968 and 1969 academic year, Ihle was Visiting Artist at the University of Alberta and he was appointed to full Professor at San Francisco State University. Ihle was an active supporter of printmaking through his teaching, reviews of exhibitions, and participation in the Bay Printmakers and the California Society of Printmakers. For these efforts, he was awarded the 1998 Distinguished Artist Award from the California Society of Printmakers. His work has been included in numerous national and international shows and is represented in the collections of the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Chicago Art Institute, Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, and the National Gallery of Art.