Vernon Stuart Cook was born in Richmond, Virginia on April 9, 1943, and has been a life-long resident of the Richmond area having spent the last fifty years in Hanover County. He was educated in the public schools in the City of Richmond and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Administration of Justice and Public Safety. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Academy. Colonel Cook joined the Richmond Bureau of Police in June 1965, and worked his way through the promotional system to the rank of Major. During his twenty-five years with the Richmond Bureau of Police, he worked in every Division and served as Deputy Chief of Investigative Operations for twelve years. On August 1990, Colonel Cook was appointed Sheriff of Hanover County by Judge Richard H. C. Taylor and throughout his career, unanimously won re-election five times. Under his watch, this agency achieved its first international and state accreditation. He retired on September 16, 2010. In addition to his law enforcement career, he served as an adjunct faculty member at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Brother Cook was made a Master Mason in Metropolitan Lodge No. 11 on March 17, 1966. He is a Life Member in Perpetuity and served as its Worshipful Master in 2009. He affiliated with Washington and Henry Lodge No. 344 on December 13, 2004, where he is also a Life Member in Perpetuity and served as its Worshipful Master in 2008. He was District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District 15C in 2010. He has served on the Grand Lodge Committee on Finance and the Grand Lodge Committee on Security. Also, he was a member of the Commission on Background Investigation of Candidates. He was elected Grand Junior Deacon in November 2011.
He is a member of the Valley of Richmond, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and was invested Knight Commander Court of Honour in 2011 and serves as Assistant Expert in the Lodge of Perfection. He is the President of the Richmond Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center. He holds membership in Acca Shrine Center.
He is an active member of Enon United Methodist Church. He is married to the former Barbara Tyler, and they have three grown children, who were raised and educated in Hanover County, and they keep active with their six grandsons.