John Hayden Hews graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1946. He attended Stanford University and participated in the Navy Holloway Plan. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the Navy as a Marine. He saw active duty with the 1st Marine Division in Korea and continued in the military after his war service, retiring with the rank of major.
He attended Boalt Hall, Berkeley, and received his law degree in 1956, entering into practice with his father in the firm Hews and Brown. He was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Reagan in 1979 and was elevated to the position of Associate Justice for California’s 4th District Court of Appeals by Governor George Deukmejian in 1986.
He served as president of the board of trustees of Riverside Community Hospital and was a member of the vestry of All Saints Episcopal Church.