Witherspoon was born on February 5, 1723 in East Lothian, Scotland.
He attended the Haddington Grammar School as a boy, then went on te study at the University of St. He graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Arts.
He taught 37 students who went on to be judges (three even going as far as the Supreme Court), 12 who served in the Continental Congress, 28 became senators and 49 congressmen.
One, James Madison, even became President of the United States.
Later, he also received a Master of Arts from the University of Edinburgh in 1739.
On September 2, 1748, John Witherspoon married Elizabeth Montgomery.