John Hallowell Ohly was a member of the Williams College Class of 1933. Ohly was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1911, and attended the Brooklyn Friends School before arriving at Williams in 1929. While at Williams, Ohly studied history and philosophy. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta Psi, the Gargoyles, the lacrosse team, the soccer team, the President of the Non-Athletic Council, and Class president his senior year. Ohly graduated first in his class and went on to attend Harvard School of Law.
After a job as a clerk in the New York firm of Breed, Abbott & Morgan, Ohly returned to Harvard as a visiting lecturer. He then joined the U.S. War Department in 1940 and was the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from 1947 to 1949, where he attended to the coordination of plans and programs with other interested government departments and the initiation of studies that would develop the unification of the military. He remained in different government offices until the 1980's, including the Assistant Director to International Security Affairs and the Assistant to the Director for Mutual Security in the Executive Office of the President.
Ohly was involved with the Ford Foundation and the International Cooperation Administration during his thirty years in government, and was an avid researcher when it came to topics of personal and career related interest and importance.
Ohly married Elizabeth Congleton and the two had three sons, one of whom graduated from Williams with the Class of 1961. The Ohlys moved to Williamstown in the mid-1980's and John become a class chairman for the Class of '33. He died in 1990.