Born in Cape Girardeau, MO, J.O. Lottes trained at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1924-26. He was a graduate of the University of Missouri c. 1934-35 and a ULSM graduate of 1937. He served in the military during WWII and trained as an orthopedic surgeon in St. Louis. He gained recognition for his work with leg fractures and has a surgical nail named for him.