J. Vincent Coombs was born in Indiana, and spent his early days on a farm in the Eel River Valley. After completing the course of study in the village of New Brunswick, he entered the Academy of Ladoga. In 1877 he graduated from the Central Indiana Normal School. In 1879 he took a course of training in the Philadelphia School of Oratory and Elocution.
He graduated from the Chicago University in 1882, completing the classic course. He entered the profession as a teacher, and, after teaching a few years in the public schools, he was elected president of the Central Indiana Normal School.
He was president of East Illinois College for two years, and in 1883 became Professor of History and Literature in Eureka College.
Professor Coombs is the author of five books on educational subjects. But it is in the lecture field that he has won his greatest fame. He entered the lecture field in 1886, and has visited every State in the Union. Having been a teacher, he is exceedingly popular with educators, and has many engagements with colleges and institutes.
He was a well-known writer and evangelist among the Christian Churches.