Jack Walls was born in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois in Cook County hospital. He is the 3rd of 9 children. From the 1st through 8th grades he attended Ambrose Plamondon elementary school. Following that, he went to Edward Tilden high school where he joined a gang, the Almighty Morgan Deuces of 18th Street, who were located in a section of Chicago known as Pilsen "Heart of Chicago". During this period Jack spent a short time in a juvenile facility known as the Audy Home after he was arrested for "gangbanging" in front of his high school. At age 17 he dropped out of school.
Walls began hanging out on Chicago's North side where he met and began to hang around with other artistically inclined gay men and women. It was then that Walls lost interest in gangs and abandoned that lifestyle. He began to immerse himself in the writings of James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison, along with large doses of Genet, Wilde, and Rimbaud. Walls, during this period, said he lived "a heavy fantasy life". He worked odd jobs in factories and in restaurants as a dishwasher. He seemed to always get fired for "daydreaming", but what he wanted was adventure.
In 1978 he joined the Navy and sailed the West Pacific. He saw the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Thailand before he was honorably discharged. Upon leaving the Navy he moved to New York City and met Robert Mapplethorpe. They became lovers. They were together from 1982 until Mapplethorpe's death in March of 1989.
Upon Robert's death, Jack Walls moved back to Chicago for three years. He spent this time studying filmmaking, screenwriting specifically, at the Chicago Filmmakers. His teacher was John Petrakis.
In February 1994 Walls returned to New York where he co-wrote a play with James Rasin. The play was called PLATO and was a deconstruction of the James Dean and Sal Mineo Warner Bros. vehicle "Rebel Without a Cause". Jack Walls and James Rasin then wrote a screenplay, "Somebody's Sins", which got attention from Hollywood and was slated to be made into a film. That project fell apart and Walls, disillusioned, gave up on writing and life in general.
But at this point in Walls' "career" he had become somewhat of a "legend". Younger, soon to be famous artists like Dash Snow, Ryan McGinley, and Dan Colen began to view Walls as a role model of sorts.
Walls visited Cherry Valley, New York in August of 2003, and what started out as a summer vacation turned into a period of fevered creativity for several years. Jack began to exhibit the fruits of these labors in the winter of 2008; starting with "Ada", a group of collages, the source material being a laser copy of a Mapplethorpe photograph. Followed the next year by the tour de force scribing of his epic prose piece "The Ebony Prick of the White Rose's Thorn", and in May 2011 a series of paintings called "Mona Lisa".