I am a little unsure of this biography; the chronology works out, but the details are hard to reconcile. Still.
It seems that John Philip Bessor was born 15 January 1914 in Pennsylvania to George W. lessor and the former Martha Blymer. George’s parents were both from Pennsylvania, as was Martha’s mother, though her father was a Swedish immigrant. They were older parents, George about 46 and Martha 41 when John was born; they had already had two daughters and a son, all four or more years older than John. I cannot find the family in the 1920 census; in 1930, George worked as a clerk for the sanitary works, and had done well, owning his home, then worth about $5,000. Also living with George, Martha, and John, was Elizabeth, one of John’s older sisters, who was married.
In 1940, John was still living with his parents in the Pittsburgh area, as was another sister, Alberta. (She was a music teacher.) The family may have suffered some misfortune during the thirties, as they had moved houses and now owned one worth $1,800. John had just gone out on the job market—he was classified as a “new worker”—after completing his third year of college. According to his obituary, he took sculpture and design courses at Carnegie Institute of Technology and also studied at Edinboro University, majoring in art—Edinboro is a Pennsylvania college.