Underwood moved with his family from Phoenix, Arizona to Homewood in 1956. His father was elected to the City Council in the 1960s. Underwood was named president of the Lakeshore Foundation in 1991. In 1993 he succeeded Jim Bennett in the Alabama State Senate.
He was selected by the U. S. Olympic Committee to serve as "Chef de Mission" for Team USA during the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China
Underwood and his wife, Melinda, have two daughters, Anna and Maria.
Underwood was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009 and immediately underwent radiation and chemo-therapy. He returned to work in the summer, but resigned from the City Council in August. Allyn Holladay succeeded him as president, and his seat was filled by appointment.
- Kennedy, Veronica (August 9, 2010) "Homewood City Council President Jeff Underwood resigns." Birmingham News
- Hansen, Jeff (December 13, 2010) "Jeff Underwood's cancer battle was both personal and a group effort." Birmingham News