He was the son of Captain James Hooker (1742–1805), a merchant, and his third wife, Mary (Chaffee) Hooker. He graduated from Yale College in 1810, and then studied law at the Litchfield Law School. He married Helen Sarah Reade (1790–1879), and they had two daughters.
He was Surrogate of Dutchess County from 1828 to 1840. In 1836, he was a presidential elector. In February 1840, he was elected by the New York State Legislature one of the canal commissioners and was legislated out of office by the Act of May 6, 1844, which re-organized the Canal Commission.
- The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 42, 328 and 413; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
- Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College by Franklin Bowditch Dexter (H. Holt and Co., 1912, vol. 6, 1805–1815)
- The History of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut (Heritage Books, ISBN 0-7884-4385-2, ISBN 978-0-7884-4385-5 ; vol. 2, page 667)
- The Yale Literary Magazine (Herrick & Noyes, 1859, vol. 25, no. 1, October 1859, page 44)
-  Death notice of his wife, in NYT on February 1, 1879 (giving correct sequence of first names)
-  His wife's obit, in NYT on February 2, 1879 (giving wrong sequence of first names, and erroneously stating she was a granddaughter of Gilbert Livingston, in fact she was a great-granddaughter)