VonCannon grew up in Asheboro, North Carolina, and was a state champion tennis player in high school. He pursued undergraduate studies at Princeton University, graduating in 1976, and then traveled to Singapore on a fellowship to Nanyang University to teach English. After returning to the U.S., VonCannon attended Purdue University, where he received a master's degree in Agricultural Economics, and the Indiana University, where he completed his M.B.A.
After stint coaching Taiwan's Davis Cup tennis team, he began a career in international finance. VonCannon lived in Singapore, Geneva, and Hong Kong, eventually becoming C.E.O of Edmond de Rothschild Group's banking operations. After retiring, VonCannon returned to North Carolina with his wife, Sandra.
VonCannon was criticized over residency questions related to his candidacy. In October 2013, he placed an offer to buy a home in Guilford County in the 6th District and changed his voter registration from the 2nd District to the 6th District on the day he moved into the home on December 2, 2013. VonCannon responded, saying, "I've been a voter in District 6 since 1972, when I was 18. I voted in District 6 every year from 1972 until 2011 (when his native Randolph County was annexed into the 2nd Congressional District)."
U.S. House, North Carolina District 6 Republican Primary, 2014