Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., and raised in Richmond, Va., John Boyle graduated from James Madison University in 1986 with a degree in English and education. He taught high school for a year before embarking on a journalism career that took him to Petersburg, Va., then the Asheville Citizen-Times in 1995. Starting as the bureau reporter for Henderson County, Boyle moved into the main office in 1997, covering health issues, then business news. He started writing a column in 1999 and the Answer Man column two years later. Boyle lives in Fletcher with his wife, Grace, and their two teenage sons.