John Overend was born in Keighly, England in 1928. He earned his B.A. in 1952 and his Ph.D. in 1955 from St. John's College, Oxford, England. He completed a post-doctorate fellowship in the infrared spectroscopy group at the University of Minnesota from 1955-1958. In 1960, Dr. Overend became an assistant professor of physical chemistry at the University; he became a full professor in 1967. Dr. Overend was considered an expert in molecular spectroscopy.
Overend was the recipient of the 1983 Ellis R. Lippincott Award from OSA.
John Overend died on 26 November 1984