After graduating from Millsaps College in 1965, Wayne received his LL.B. degree in 1968 from the Mississippi College School of Law, known at that time as the Jackson School of Law. After law school, he moved to McComb, where he still resides, and started his law practice, serving as City Judge of the City of McComb, and attorney for the McComb School Board, before his election as Mayor of McComb in 1978.
In 1981, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and served in Congress until 1989. He was chairman of the subcommittee on education, training and employment of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Following his work in Washington, Wayne returned and resumed his law practice in Magnolia. He has a varied civil and trial practice and represents Pike County and its Board of Supervisors, the City of Magnolia, and the Town of Summit.
In addition to his law practice, he has actively participated in broadcasting business. He has been involved in the ownership and management of a number of radio stations in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He is president of Southwest Broadcasting, Inc. and North Shore Broadcasting Company, Inc., which is licensee if AM and FM radio stations in McComb, Mississippi and Hammond and Covington, Louisiana.
He was recently chosen state Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.
Wayne Dowdy and his wife, Susan, have three children, six grandchildren, and are active, long time members of the Methodist church.