Celebrated American bow maker and restorer John Norwood Lee was born in 1953 in California. In 1977, he began to working for Bein & Fushi in Chicago as the violin firm's first in-house bow restorer. In 1978, Lee founded his own bow making and restoration company in partnership with his brother, violin maker William Harris Lee, to form a full-service violin shop on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Lee continued to serve Bein & Fushi through 2002, as well as other violin shops, while also building his own bows and apprenticing other distinguished makers.
Lee's bows have received numerous awards, including a Gold Medal for Cello Bow Workmanship at the 1982 Violin Society of America competition. Today, Lee continues to build bows from his workshop at William Harris Lee & Company, restores and repairs bows owned by prestigious string playing clientele, and travels frequently to supervise his workshop in China.