Born October 23, 1938 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John Heinz was the only child of industrialist/philanthropist H. J. Heinz II and Joan Diehl (Heinz) McCauley. Heinz lived with his mother and stepfather, U.S. Naval Aviator Captain C.C. "Monty" McCauley after his parents divorced in 1942. Heinz grew up mainly in San Francisco and spent many summers with his father in Pittsburgh.
Heinz graduated from Yale University in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in History, Arts and Letters, a special honors major, and received his Master's in Business Administration from Harvard in 1963. He met his future wife, the former Teresa Simões-Ferreira, in Geneva, Switzerland during a summer break from graduate school.
Heinz enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was on active duty in 1963. His early career included work as a special assistant to Senator Hugh Scott (R-PA) and as assistant campaign manager in Scott's re-election bid.
He then worked in Pittsburgh in the financial and marketing division of the family firm from 1965 to 1970. From 1970-71, Heinz taught business in the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Heinz entered politics in 1971 when Congressman Robert Corbett of Pennsylvania's 18th District died. After a Republican nomination primary victory, he won a special election for Corbett's unexpired term and won re-election easily in 1972 and again in 1974.
When Senator Scott retired in 1976, Heinz battled to an election victory as U.S. Senator. He was re-elected in 1982 and 1988 and served in the Senate until his untimely death April 4, 1991. Senator Heinz died in a plane crash in Philadelphia, en route to Medicare fraud hearings.
During his tenure Heinz held over 500 town meetings and made countless visits to meet with Pennsylvania's students, civic leaders, public officials, educators, working people, and newspaper editorial boards.
John Heinz was the father of three sons, Henry John IV, André, and Christopher.