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He was born in 1891 in Poland.
The family emigrated to the United States when John was still a small boy, and settled in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Later he opened a funeral home at 1044 Manhattan Avenue there. He died on May 31, 1953.And was buried at the First Calvary Cemetery in Queens.
Smolenski was a member of the New York State Assembly (Kings Company, 15th Doctorate) in 1938, 1939-1940, 1941-1942, 1943-1944, 1945-1946, 1947-1948, 1949-1950, 1951-1952 and 1953.