John Froines, along with Lee Weiner, were the two forgotten defendants at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial. Not individually charged with inciting a riot, but rather with making incendiary devices (stink bombs), Froines and Weiner were acquitted by the jury.
Froines came to Chicago as a chemist of considerable distinction, having graduated from Berkeley in 1963, then receiving his Ph.D. with a specialization in toxicology and industrial hygiene from Yale in 1967.
Froines activism dates at least back to 1964, when he was chair of Students for Johnson at Yale. He soon thereafter joined the S.D.S.. Later he founded the Radical Science Information Service.
At trial, Froines appeared to many observers to be a quiet, likable man with a well developed sense of ironic wit. In his statement made at the time of sentencing on contempt convictions, Froines quoted the Oregon Constitution which spoke of the right of the people to "at all times alter, reform or abolish the government in a manner as they may think proper."
Froines joined the UCLA faculty as a professor in its School of Public Health in 1981. He came to UCLA from a stint in the Carter Administration as OSHA's Director of Toxic Substances.