Alexander J. Stoddard was born in 1889 in Auburn, Nebraska. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1905 and married Sadie Gillan in 1916. They had one son and one daughter. Stoddard began his career as a school teacher in Nebraska, receiving a BS from the University of Nebraska and a Master's degree from Columbia University's Teachers College in 1924. He moved to Los Angeles in 1948 after having spent nine years as the superintendent of schools in Philadelphia. Stoddard served as Superintendent of Los Angeles City Schools from 1948 until his retirement in 1954. Stoddard was actively involved with a number of national education organizations, including the American Association of School Administrators, the Educational Policies Commission and Superintendents of Larger City School Systems. In the 1950s, he was a strong advocate for the new field of educational television. Before working in Philadelphia, Stoddard served as Superintendent of Schools in Denver, Colorado; Providence, Rhode Island; Schenectady, New York; and Bronxville, New York. Stoddard died on October 18, 1965 in Los Angeles.