Born in Glasgow, he was the son of Alexander and Mary Baird. After leaving school he worked initially as a coalminer, before attending St. Mungo's Medical School to study dentistry. He qualified in 1929, and was admitted to the Royal Faculty Physicians and Surgeons. In 1933 he married Agnes Kerr of Castle Douglas, and the couple had 2 children.
In 1928 Baird become active in Labour politics in Glasgow. He continued to be a member of the Labour Party when he moved his dental practice firstly to the north of England and then later to the London area. With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 Baird joined the Army Dental Corps, reaching the rank of captain by the war's end.
When his constituency was abolished for the 1950 general election, Baird was returned to Parliament for the new Wolverhampton North East. He held that seat until he stepped down at the 1964 general election.
In parliament he took an interest in health and social insurance issues. He was a strong opponent of racism, and also sought to form better relations with Communist countries, visiting the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China on a number of occasions.
According to John Callaghan, Baird should be "counted as the first Trotskyist MP" for assistance he gave to the second Revolutionary Socialist League, later better known as Militant. Pierre Frank commented that he "was always on our side."
Baird died in a London hospital in 1965, aged 58.
- "BAIRD, John". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- "Obituary: Mr. John Baird M.P. For Wolverhampton From 1950-64". The Times. 22 March 1965. p. 12.
- John Callaghan The Far Left in British Politics, 1987, Basil Blackwell, p192.
- Frank, Pierre The Long March of the Trotskyists
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Baird