An American novelist and short fiction writer, he is best known for such short stories as "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," and "The Five-Forty-Eight." His novels include Bullet Park (1969), Falconer (1977), and the National Book Award-winning work, The Wapshot Chronicle (1957).
He attended both Quincy High School and Thayer Academy in Massachusetts. During his teenage years, he won a Boston Herald-sponsored short story competition.
He was was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. His short story collection, The Stories of John Cheever, received both the 1981 National Book Award and the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
He was the son of a wealthy Massachusetts shoe salesman. He married Mary Winternitz in 1941.
He was close friends with writer Raymond Carver.