John Edward Porter (Born June 1, 1935) is a former US Representative from Illinois.
Porter was born in Evanston, Illinois, was educated in public schools, and then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for one year before receiving a B.S. and B.A. from Northwestern University in 1957. He then received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at the University of Michigan Law School in 1961, and was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year. He also served in United States Army Reserves from 1958 to 1964.
He served two years in the United States Department of Justice from 1961 to 1963. He entered private practice in Evanston, Illinois from 1963 to 1979. During this time he entered politics, first by becoming a member of the Illinois general assembly from 1973 to 1979; then by running an unsuccessful first campaign for a seat in the Ninety-sixth United States Congress in 1978. However, when Representative Abner J. Mikva resigned in 1979 from that Congress, Porter succeeded in a special election and continued to serve for the next ten sessions. He was a Representative in total from January 22, 1980 to until his retirement on January 3, 2001.
A moderate Republican, he has served as co-chair for the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and overseen budget appropriations for the NIH.
In 2000, he was awarded The Mary Woodard Lasker Public Service Award "for wise and perceptive leadership on behalf of medical research funding and a deep commitment to strengthening the science enterprise." He has also received the Albert Sabin Hero of Science Award from Americans for Medical Progress for his consistent advocacy for medical research.