J. Cordell Maddox was born in Richland County to J. Cordell Maddox, Sr. and Brona Faye Maddox. After graduating with a B.S. degree from Furman University in 1980, J. Cordell Maddox received his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1983. He is married to the former Donna Schwartz-Watts and they have four children.
Judge Maddox's contributions to his community are numerous and include service as the President of the Anderson Heart Association, 1993; Secretary of the YMCA Board of Directors, 1995-96; and member of The Hospice Board, 1996. The Judge has also served as trustee and deacon in The First Baptist Church of Anderson.
Judge Maddox previously held elected office in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1997 to 2000. He was elected to the Circuit Court Bench, At-Large Seat Number 7, on February, 6, 2002 and qualified on March 22, 2002.