The California native was known for his generosity toward his alma mater Stanford University and for helping to build the Silicon Valley we know today. Arrillaga and his business partner, Richard Peery, bought farmland in the 1960s to turn into office space, laying the grounds for what would become the home of innovation in technology.
He was a consistent donor for Stanford University and a dedicated fan of the school's athletic department, for which he played basketball while in school. Throughout his life, he made two of the largest donations the school has ever received. Multiple Stanford buildings carry his name, in addition to the alumni center dedicated in memory of his first wife, Frances.
Arrillaga was also a loving husband and father to his wife, Gioia Fasi, and his children, John Jr. and Laura.