John Eric Winchester is a fictional character on The CW Television Network's drama/horror television series Supernatural, and the protagonist of the comic book spin-off series Supernatural: Origins. Developed by series creator Eric Kripke, the character is mainly portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. John is the father of Sam and Dean Winchester, the show's protagonists.
Seeking revenge after his wife Mary was killed by the demon Azazel, John Winchester became a hunter and raised his two sons to fight the supernatural. John disappears early in Supernatural, and the first season revolves primarily around Sam and Dean trying to find him. Morgan was also filming episodes of Grey's Anatomy while the first season of Supernatural was under production, and future appearances of the character were hindered by his busy schedule. While Morgan's portrayal has been praised, fans and critics were generally frustrated at the character for keeping so many secrets.
Born in 1954—most likely in Indiana—John Winchester left high school to join the Marine Corps, eventually attaining the rank of corporal. Serving in Vietnam, he received many medals. After leaving the service, he got a job as a mechanic, and fell in love with Mary Campbell, whom he would later marry.
Following the mysterious death of his wife years later, John Winchester investigated the incident and learned of the existence of the supernatural. His desire to find and kill the being that took Mary's life led him to become a hunter of supernatural creatures. He took his sons, Sam and Dean, with him during his travels, but often left them alone in motels for long periods of time during his hunts, leaving Dean with instructions to "shoot first and ask questions later" while watching over Sam, who at first was unaware of his exploits. As revealed in the fourth season episode "Jump the Shark", John slept with a nurse named Kate Milligan, whom he met after being brought into a hospital with wounds after killing a ghoul; he unknowingly fathered his third son, Adam, with her. John made occasional visits, doing normal father-son things with him that he did not do with Dean and Sam. Wanting to keep Adam from the supernatural world, he hid the truth from him, and never revealed to him the existence of Sam and Dean, nor vice-versa. Meanwhile, John trained Sam and Dean to become hunters. However, Sam later leaves this life to start anew in college, leading to a fallout between John and his son.
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Links: Wikipedia John Winchester - Wiki Winchester Journals