John Firth was born in Edmonton, Alberta and adopted into the Yukon Territory, where he has worked as a journalist, prospector, public relations director, theatre owner and financial advisor. He makes his home in Whitehorse, where he is the Chairperson of the Yukon Foundation. An avid outdoorsman, he has been a marathon runner for 35 years and was the founding president of the Yukon River Marathon Paddling Association.
Firth and his nephew were featured in a documentary of the Dyea to Dawson Race that aired in the winter of 1997 on CBC television. His book entitled, River Time: Racing the Ghosts of the Klondike Rush, traces the historical stampede of men like Firth's grandfather who travelled from Dyea, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon during the Gold Rush. This is his second book.