Henry Woods was born on March 17, 1918, in Abbeville, Mississippi. He attended the University Woodsof Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1938 and a law degree in 1940. Shortly afterward, he formed a partnership in Texarkana with Philip G. Alston under the name of Alston & Woods. On March 3, 1941, Woods became a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1946, he returned to Texarkana and reestablished the law firm of Alston & Woods. In 1948, Woods managed Sid McMath's successful campaign for Arkansas governor and served as McMath's executive secretary from 1949 to 1953. Woods and McMath joined Leland F. Leatherman in forming a Little Rock law firm in 1953. In 1970, Woods coordinated Dale Bumpers' successful campaign for the Arkansas governorship.

He was a Special Associate Justice, Arkansas Supreme Court from 1967 to 1974. Woods was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on December 14, 1979, to a federal judgeship on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 20, 1980, and received his commission the same day. He assumed senior status on March 1, 1995.

Woods served in many professional organizations: as president of the Arkansas Bar Association, during 1972-1973; as a member of the National Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers; as chairman of the Supreme Court Committee on Model Jury Instructions; as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Law Review; as chairman of the Trust Committee of the Arkansas Bar Foundation; as chairman and member of the Board of the Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy at Hastings College of the Law, University of California; and as a member of the International Society of Barristers.

Woods also served in several civic capacities. From 1974 to1978 he was a member of the executive board of the Institute of Politics and Government; chairman of the Legal Task Force of the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families; from 1953-1957 he was a leader of the Ford Foundation Great Books program in Little Rock; and member of Advisory Board of Catholic High School, Little Rock, Arkansas.

During his lifetime, Judge Woods received many professional awards. Among them are the Outstanding Lawyer Award, 1975, and a Senior Member Award, 1990, by the Arkansas Bar Association; the Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Arkansas, 1979; the 1985 Outstanding Lawyer Award, Pulaski County Bar Association; and the American Inns Of Court Foundation awards, 1988 and 1995. At the 1990 annual meeting of the Arkansas Bar Association, Judge Woods was selected as the Outstanding Trial Judge by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. He also authored numerous legal articles, among them a treatise on "Comparative Fault" published in 1978.

Judge Woods was married to the former Kathleen Mary McCaffrey. They had four children: Mary Sue, Thomas Henry, Eileen Anne, and James Michael. Judge Henry Woods died March 14, 2002, at eighty-three years of age.