John Champion "Jesse" Berry III lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
He graduated from Fort Smith Southside High School, where he was a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist, and the captain of the Rebels Quiz Bowl team. He attended the University of Texas at Austin on an academic scholarship, and then earned a Creative Writing in English BA from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He played on the College Bowl team for the Razorbacks; in his senior season (1997-1998) they went 7-3 and finished in third place in Region XII.
He has written for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (1997 & 1998) and the Northwest Arkansas Times (1998).
He was on the television game show Jeopardy! from 19 June to 22 June 2007, a three-time champion. From 2008 until 2018, he was a Notary Public of Sebastian County, Arkansas.