Hector John Dewhirst McLusky, with his two brothers and parents, moved from Leeds to Leamington Spa in 1936. John (also known as Hector) attended Warwick School from 1936 to 1940, and, after a period back in Leeds, proceeded to the Slade School of Art.
McLusky began illustrating the comic strip adaptation of James Bond for the Daily Express. From 1958 to 1966, McLusky adapted 13 of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels or short stories.
After Yaroslav Horak had taken over the James Bond strip, McLusky drew Secret Agent 13 for Fleetway. For the magazine TV Comic McLusky illustrated several strips over 15 years, notably Look and Learn and strip adaptations for Laurel & Hardy, and the Pink Panther. In 1982 McLusky returned to illustrate the James Bond strip, collaborating with writer Jim Lawrence to illustrate four new original James Bond stories.
John McLusky continued other work throughout his career – including substitute teaching and work as a puppeteer on Bournemouth pier. He continued this other work because at one stage he had almost lost the ability to speak due to his isolation from other human beings.