Joe Don "J.D." Morton was born and raised by his mother and two sisters, one of which is deaf, in Scottsdale, Arizona. He played football throughout high school and then attended college for two years at Scottsdale Community College. At 20, he took off to Alaska to pursue a job in the fishing industry. He spent the summer working in canneries and on a fishing boat. He then decided to join the United States Navy and successfully trained at the Search and Rescue Swimmer School. Shortly after he finished his Navy service, he saw a documentary on smokejumpers and that's all he needed to see. He attended smoke-jumping school in Redding, CA, with the United States Forest Service and then transferred back to Alaska. He then bought 10 acres of land in Alaska and built a cabin, where he currently resides with his black lab, Anna. He describes himself as free-spirited, funny and big-hearted. His favorite sports are foursquare, dog-mushing, two-man sand volleyball, bodysurfing, ultimate fighting and swimming in the ocean. J.D. was originally chosen for "Survivor: Guatemala" and managed to break his ankle a couple of weeks before he was scheduled to leave.
He currently resides in Fairbanks, AK.
His birth date is Aug. 4, 1970.