John Stennis was born in Kemper County, Mississippi on 3rd August, 1901. After attending local public schools Stennis graduated from Mississippi State College in 1923. This was followed by the University of Virginia Law School and he was admitted to the bar in 1928.
A member of the Democratic Party, Stennis served in the Mississippi house of representatives (1928-32), and as district prosecuting attorney (1932-37) and circuit judge (1937-47).
Stennis was elected to the United States Senate in November, 1947, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Theodore Bilbo. He was reelected in 1952, 1958, 1964, 1970, 1976 and 1982. Stennis, was chairman of the Select Committee on Standards and Conduct and served on the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Appropriations. John Stennis died in Jackson, Mississippi, on 23rd April, 1995.