John Cooper served for eighteen years as the Grand Secretary of the Masonic Grand Lodge of California, retiring in 2009. He was subsequently elected to the progressive grand line of his grand lodge, and in 2013 was elected as Grand Master, serving the traditional one year term of office.
He served as the Worshipful Master of Southern California Research Lodge in 1972, and later as Master of Northern California Research Lodge in San Francisco. After his retirement as Grand Secretary he moved to Sacramento, and is currently the Senior Warden of Golden Compasses Research Lodge in that city.
Before becoming Grand Secretary in 1991, John Cooper was a high school teacher of history and political science, and then a school administrator. He served as the chief executive of a high school district in San Diego County, California from 1985 to 1990. He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angles, and a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate School.
He became a Mason in 1964, after having served in leadership positions in the American Masonic youth order, the Order of DeMolay, and served his lodge as Worshipful Master in 1969. He later assumed leadership positions in both the Scottish Rite and the York Rite, and is a Thirty-Third Degree Honorary member of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In 2016 he was elected as president of the Philalethes Society, and concluded his term of office in January, 2018.
- The symbolism and philosophy of Freemasonry.
- Boundary theory and the Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry.
- The history and influence of American Freemasonry.