Born in Marietta, Georgia, John T. Cooper was a grandson of tragedian Thomas Cooper and a great-grandson of Captain Edward Dunscomb, a noted New York soldier in the American Revolutionary War.
During the winter of 1867–68, Cooper and other young men, including the younger brother of future mayor George Hillyer, organized the Young Men's Democratic Club of Atlanta and became active in local politics.
In July 4, 1879, Cooper was admitted to the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1884, he served as councilman of Atlanta's Sixth Ward before he was elected mayor.
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|width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
George Hillyer |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Mayor of Atlanta
January 1887 – January 1889 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
John Thomas Glenn |- |}
Template:Mayors of Atlanta
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