Born in Winnipeg, John Army Howard was a gifted natural athlete who ruled the Canadian sprint scene from 1912-15. As a member of Canada's Olympic Team in 1912, he travelled overseas to Stockholm, Sweden with fellow Hall-of-Famer Joe Keeper (inducted in 1984), as one of the premier sprinters at those Games. In 1913 he dominated the Canadian Outdoor Championships held in Vancouver winning Gold in both the 100 and 220 yard dash events. A product of the Winnipeg North End Amateur Athletic Club (NEAAC), Howard enjoyed the prime of his career when Manitoba had many brilliant track athletes including Keeper and Laurie Armstrong (inducted in 1989).
Howard joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1917 and returned from the Great War in 1919. He worked for six years with the Canadian National Railway and ranched in the Riding Mountains starting in 1920. Army Howard's bloodlines were passed on to his grandson Harry Jerome, 1964 Olympic Bronze Medallist and a member of four halls of fame himself.