John Everett Benson is a calligrapher, stone carver, sculptor and typeface designer. He is the second of three generations of Bensons to run The John Stevens Shop, a 314 year-old stone carving and lettering business in Newport, Rhode Island. After a summer of study with his father, Benson enrolled in the sculpture program at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he graduated in 1961. Soon after, Benson joined the staff at The John Stevens Shop, eventually serving as Director from 1965-1993.

Benson’s career is marked with innovating typography, inscribing national monuments, and designing graceful and glorious headstones and memorial tables. Under Benson’s leadership, the John Stevens Shop fulfilled major commissions to design and carve the inscriptions on the John F. Kennedy Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama and the Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC. Benson’s inscriptions also grace the walls of major American museums, universities and government buildings throughout the United States, including Brown, Yale, and Harvard Universities, The National Gallery of Art, and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. He has also made headstones and memorial tables for a wide array of notable public and private figures in America, including Tennessee Williams, Lillian Hellman and George Balanchine.

Additionally, and of particular note, Benson designed fonts and lettering that are still available on the Adobe Systems, including Alexa, Balzano and Caliban. Another was designed specifically for a project at the Roger Williams Zoo, Aardvark. 

Since his retirement, Benson has worked as a figurative and portrait sculptor in clay and bronze.