John Amrhein, Jr. was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia where he graduated from Benedictine High School in 1967 and then attended the University of South Carolina earning a B.S. in Accounting in 1971. He made his first dive at the age of 14, where he became enchanted with the underwater world. After college, he resumed diving to then become captivated with maritime history and research while he lived in Washington, DC. It was here that he discovered the single most important clue to locating La Galga. It was a letter written by Captain Huony to the Governor of Maryland describing the location of his ship as being two ship lengths inside the Maryland boundary with Virginia.
In 1983, he and his partners located the remains of the Spanish warship, La Galga, buried in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island. In 2007, he published The Hidden Galleon which documents the discovery and the complete history of the of La Galga and the Assateague horses. With the assistance of researchers in Spain, England, Denmark, The Netherlands, and in the Caribbean, and ten years of his own research, he documented that treasure stolen from another ship in the 1750 fleet was an inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. In 2011, he published Treasure Island: The Untold Story. His two award winning books comprise the complete history of the 1750 Spanish fleet. He is currently a real estate broker and general contractor on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he resides with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Madeline.