John Coats was international President of the Theosophical Society from 1973 to 1979. He served as General Secretary of the English Section of the TS from 1941 to 1946. Later he served as President of the European Federation of the TS from 1959 to 1968.
Born in Scotland in 1906, he was fluent in French, German, and English. After completing his studies, he began working in the family business and later on the London Stock Exchange. In 1932 he met a complete stranger in a café who talked to him about the teachings of Theosophy. This was a turning point in the life of John Coats, who immediately joined the Society and became devoted to its work. Throughout his long theosophical career, Mr. Coats traveled widely all over the world spreading the message of Theosophy.