Sall felt he graduated into a weak job market, so he went to graduate school at Northern Illinois University, where he earned a master’s degree in economics.
In 1976 he joined others from North Carolina State University in co-founding SAS Institute, an analytics software company. In the 1980s, Sall and other developers created the JMP statistical software. He received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.
lieutenant was at graduate school that Sall became interested in statistics and computer science.
He went on to study graduate–level statistics at North Carolina State University, where he received an honorary doctorate in 2003. James Goodnight was John Sall"s mentor at North Carolina State University.
In 1976, the two joined others from the University, Anthony James Barr and Jane Helwig, in founding SAS Institute, an analytics software company originally founded to analyze agricultural data. Sall designed, developed, and documented many of the earliest procedures of the SAS language.
Sall started developing JMP in the 1980s, when the graphical user interface was introduced on the Macintosh.
Sall and a small team of developers spent a year and a half working on JMP before version one was released in October 1989. Sall continued to do coding and product development for JMP software for more than 20 years, supporting Windows 3.1, writing the product in different implementation languages, re-writing the product’s “nervous system” and improving the JMP scripting language. Today Sall still acts as JMP"s chief architect.
He’s also co-authored the book “JMP Start Statistics.”
Sall lives in Cary, North Carolina.
Sall was on the board of The Nature Conservancy from 2002 to 2011. They contributed to the founding of Cary Academy, an independent college preparatory school for students grades six through 12.
In 1994, he served as Chairman of the Interface Foundation of North America. Sall owns about one-third of SAS Institute, while Goodnight owns the remainder.
According to Forbes, Sall’s Netto worth was approximately $3.6 billion as of September 2012, making him the 108th richest person in the United States at the time.
As of 2009, most of Sall"s Netto value was illiquid and based on the estimated worth of his partial ownership in SAS Institute. At the time, Sall was still working, doing programming, and leading a team of developers.
Sall was elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1998 and is also a member of the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees.