John Flaherty lives in Northern California and owns a small vineyard. Flaherty has had a number of jobs in the past including working as a gravedigger in Colma, California – where he had Wyatt Earp’s grave in his section of the cemetery. He was a bartender and ski lift assistant in Lake Tahoe, when he dropped out of college and became a ‘ski bum.’ Later, he drove a cab in San Francisco, worked at a lumber yard in the Bay Area, and washed pots at the industrial kitchen of United Airlines. He also was a ramp service man at Flying Tigers Airlines, and later United Airlines.
In addition to the above experiences, Flaherty received a law degree and was a chief of staff to Members of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation. He was at the USDOT on 9/11, and later led infrastructure teams to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a principal at a major private equity firm (Carlyle Group), and ran a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon University as a Distinguished Service professor. He is currently the chair of an award-winning public charter school organization that teaches amazing students from underrepresented populations in rural California.
He and his wife, Michelle, live with Charlie, the 190 lb. Mastiff. Their daughter, Megan, is in graduate school at the University of Colorado. Flaherty was formally diagnosed with ADHD in 2006.