Johnny DuPree was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, and moved to Mississippi as a young child. His parents separated, and at eight years old, he worked as a newspaper carrier to help support his family. He later went on to work at Sears & Roebuck for 15 years before starting his own company, DuPree Realty, with his wife.
DuPree was appointed to the Hattiesburg Public School Board in 1987. He served on the Forrest County Board of Supervisors for 10 years after being elected in 1991. He was the elected mayor of Hattiesburg in 2001, a role he served in until 2017. DuPree was the city’s first African American mayor and his tenure was the longest of any other Hattiesburg mayor. He was also the Democratic nominee for governor in 2011.
DuPree is a graduate of Jones Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi.
He received his doctorate in urban studies from Jackson State University.
Dupree and his wife have two daughters.
Dupree declared candidacy for the 2022 election to the U.S. House to represent Mississippi's 4th Congressional District.