John Harker was a United States senator who was serving a term as President as of 1997. He was en-route to the Hartford Summit at the height of the third world war with a top-secret taped recording that explained the principles of nuclear fusion in the hope of ending the conflict. However en-route Air Force One was brought down by an American terrorist group over the airspace of New York City with the President as the only survivor. He was then captured by the Duke of New York and his band of crazies, where he was held until Snake Plissken arrived to rescue him. Ultimately several people died in the process of escorting Harker out of New York, and at one point he even delayed Plissken from being rescued in order to kill the Duke. After the rescue Harker was unsympathetic about the deaths of those who helped rescue him, causing Snake to replace the nuclear fission tape with a tape of bandstand music, humiliating him in front of the delegates.