This Goleta Valley rancher and later State Senator was born in the old Hollister Adobe to an early Santa Barbara cattleman and his wife. He obtained his early education at the Dean School in Santa Barbara.
Later, Jack Hollister went to the East Coast to complete his education at the Groton School in Massachusetts and then at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1925 with an AB degree in Economics, principally in the field of Agricultural Economics.
Returning to his native state, Jack obtained on-the-job training with the Spreckles Bank in San Francisco and was engaged in the securities business until 1932. He married Cynthia Boyd in San Rafael in 1928.
From 1932 to 1955, Jack was actively in charge of the Winchester Ranch of the Hollister Estate Company in Santa Barbara County. During this time, in addition to managing the cattle operation, he developed a walnut and lemon orchard on the ranch. Keenly interested in improved methods for orchard and range management, he cooperated in a number of field test plots with the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of California. In addition to farming, he took an active part in farm organizations and civic affairs in Santa Barbara County.
Jack was elected to the California State Senate in 1955 during a special election and was re-elected in 1956 and 1960. During his terms of office, he manifested a keen interest in legislation pertaining to agriculture, education, soil conservation, and harbor development. He served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor.