John Kilick was born December 26, 1956 in the city of Millburn (New Jersey). In 1978 he graduated from the University of Vermont (bachelor's degree). In 1979 he moved to New York and, together with his friend Paul Mones, wrote his first script, in which the film was never made. In 1979-1986, he worked in various film production roles, while trying to find funding for the scripts of Paul Mones. In 1988, he produced the first film, The Beat, which Paul Mones made in his script. In the same year, John Kilik met Spike Lee, and this acquaintance was the beginning of their long cooperation. In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Vermont, in 2012 - from the University of Monmouth.