Jack Webb was born as John Alfred Webb on January 13, 1916, in Los Angeles and has lived most of his life there, except for military service and a period of residence in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1957 to 1966. He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and was graduated with a degree in English literature in 1937. For the next two years, he worked at the San Diego Zoo and developed an interest in animals. During World War II, he served as a lieutenant with the Office of Strategic Services as part of a Signal Corps unit stationed near Chungking, China.
Webb was married to his wife, Nell, in 1950, and they have two children and a large collection of animals. During his time in Arizona, he established an aviary and a natural history library. He was most active as a writer during the 1950’s, when the majority of his work appeared. He worked at a series of jobs, including a position at an advertising agency, before becoming manager of the Technical Information Unit of the General Electric Company. Although he retired from that company in 1986, he continued to work as a consultant.