Jack Watson was born John Roy Watson, Jr. on July 8, 1935 in Leominster, Mass. to John Roy Watson, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth (Tully) Watson. He graduated from Leominster High School in 1953 and then went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1958. Afterwards, he attended graduate programs at Carnegie Mellon University and Amherst College.
Beginning in 1958 Watson was part of the staff of the Williams College Drama Department where he helped select plays and design sets and lighting for several productions including The Glass Menagerie (1959), A Streetcar Named Desire (1966), and As You Like It (1970). Watson was also an instructor at the college from 1964 to 1971. Watson taught Introduction to Technical Theatre and, with the rest of the Drama Department, introductory theatre classes. He was also active in the Williamstown Theatre Festival where he acted as a production manager and technical director.
In addition to theatre, Watson was a savvy businessman standing as a member of the Williamstown Capital Planning Committee, acting on and chairing the Williamstown Finance Committee, and owning the J. Watson Construction Company operating out of Williamstown from 1970 until his death. Jack Watson died on November 25, 1999.