Stuart Rockoff was born in Fort Worth and raised in Houston, Texas and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1991 with a BA in history.
He received his Ph.D. in US history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000 with a special emphasis on immigration and American Jewish history. He has taught several history courses in American ethnic and Jewish history at UT-Austin, UT-San Antonio, Central Texas College, and Millsaps College. Since June of 2002, he has served as the director of the history department at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life and the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, where he is working to preserve and document the history of Southern Jews. He is the immediate past president of the Southern Jewish Historical Society and is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities.