John Stephen Wood was born in Cherokee County, Georgia, on 8th February, 1885. After graduating from Mercer University in 1910 he was admitted to the bar and worked as a lawyer in Jasper. Wood served as solicitor general of the judicial circuit of Georgia (1921-25) and judge of the superior courts (1925-31). He was also openly a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
A member of the Democratic Party, Wood was elected to Congress in 1931. He lost his seat in 1934 but returned after the Second World War. He was chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee (1945-46 and 1949-52) and played an important role in the investigation of the American Communist Party and the entertainment industry.
Wood retired from politics in 1952 and returned to his law practice in Canton, Georgia. John Stephen Wood died in Marietta on 12th September, 1968.