John Edward Porter is a former United States Representative from Illinois.
Porter was born in Evanston, Illinois, was educated in public schools, and then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for one year before receiving a B.S. and B.A. from Northwestern University in 1957. He then received his Juris Doctor degree with distinction at the University of Michigan Law School in 1961, and was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year. He also served in United States Army Reserves from 1958 to 1964.
He served two years in the United States Department of Justice in the Honor Law Graduate Program from 1961 to 1963. He entered private practice in Evanston, Illinois from 1963 to 1979. During this time he entered politics; first by becoming a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979, then by running an unsuccessful first campaign for a seat in the Ninety-sixth United States Congress in 1978 against Representative Abner J. Mikva. When Mikva resigned from Congress in 1979, Porter won a special election to succeed him and continued to serve for the next ten Congresses. He was a Representative in total from January 22, 1980 to until his retirement on January 3, 2001.