Omandur Ramaswamy Reddy was born in 1895 in the village of Omandur near Tindivanam in the South Arcot district of Madras Presidency. He belonged to a Telugu Reddy family domiciled in the Tamil country. He had his schooling at Walter Scudder school and entered the Indian independence movement at an early age. Ramaswamy Reddy was a devotee of Vallalar.
He was an Indian freedom-fighter and politician of the Indian National Congress. He served as the Premier of Madras Presidency from 23 March
1947 to 6 April 1949. During his tenure, the Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act 1947 was passed. This act was intended to give Dalits and other prohibited Hindus full and complete rights to enter Hindu temples. This was approved by the Governor on 11 May 1947 and passed as Madras Act 5 of 1947. The Devadasi Dedication Abolition Act of 1947 put an end to the devadasi system that was in vogue in many Hindu temples. It was during Reddy's tenure that India achieved independence from the United
Kingdom. Soon after independence and partition of India, there was a shortage of food grains, especially rice, in the province. In 1948, Reddy ordered the purchase of a de Havilland Dove, the first aeroplane to be owned by the Government of Madras. In 1948, when the Congress legislative party elections were held, Reddy's candidature was opposed by Tanguturi Prakasam. However, Reddy won with the support of K. Kamaraj. However, the Congress leaders were disgruntled with Reddy as he did not
allow them special privileges. So, during the 1949 Congress Legislative Party elections, Kamaraj supported P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja against Reddy. Though Reddy was supported by C. Rajagopalachari, P. Subbarayan and T. Prakasam, he lost the vote and stepped down as Chief Minister.