Jean Chambers was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in 1953 to Richard and Jean Duffy. She and her three younger brothers grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, where the family moved in the late 1950s. Jean graduated with an associates degree in fashion illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology and later with a B.A. in English literature from Hunter College, both located in New York City. She worked for twenty years for several trade magazines as an art editor, including Personal Computing, Medical World News, and Physics Today. Her last position was with the New York Times as a graphic designer. Jean retired shortly after she and her husband John Chambers, ’77, adopted their child Ryan Chambers in 1996.
Apart from a three-year stint in Paris from 1989 to 1992, Jean and her husband lived their adult lives on the West Side of Manhattan. Jean was active in community affairs, including at her church, Saint Michael’s, where she was inurned upon her death in 2014.