The father of Commander John Rodgers, USN, he was born in 1848 at Harve de Grace, Maryland, a little town on the mouth of the Susquehanna River where the Rodgers family had made its home for many years.
His father, Robert Smith Rodgers was a Colonel in the Civil War and his uncle, Rear Admiral John Rodgers was a well known naval figure of his time and the first to rise to the rank of rear admiral. His mother, Sarah C. Perry Rodgers, was a daughter of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who made history in Japan, and a niece of Commodore Oliver Hazzard Perry, whose classic "We have met the enemy and they are ours" is still a classic in naval tradition.
Since 1900, five active rear admirals in the Navy have been members of the Rodgers family.
John Augustus Rodgers was appointed to the Naval Academy by President in 1863 and he long served on active duty in the Navy. He died on March 2, 1933, at the age of 83, and was buried among other family members in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.