Jules Bonjour was born in 1939. His father was the son of a Swiss immigrant who came to the United States in the late 19th century. He grew up in Larchmont, a suburb of New York City, where he lived until he was 17, when he moved with his family to the Chicago area. He attended Northwestern University, graduating in 1961.
He moved to Berkeley, California, to attend UC, where he obtained a master’s degree in Political Science in 1963. After a brief stint in the army, he returned to UC to attend law school and received a JD in 1966. He is married and has three children and eight grandchildren. He lives in Berkeley near the Claremont Hotel and the UC campus, and is still an active criminal defense attorney.