Ioan Alexandru graduated from University of Bucharest's Faculty of Romanian Language and Literature in 1968. His debut poem was published in the Tribuna magazine in 1960, but his first collection of poems was published in book form in 1964 under the title Cum să vă spun. He received a scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation in Germany, recommended by German philosopher Martin Heidegger and studied philosophy, theology, classical philology (old Hebrew and old Greek) and art history in Freiburg, Basel, Aachen and München. Back in Romania, Ioan Alexandru earned a doctorate in philology at the University of Bucharest in 1973. His thesis was entitled: Patria la Pindar şi Eminescu (approx. "Pindar and Eminescu's Idea of the Motherland").
On the night of December 21, 1989, the poet Ioan Alexandru held up a cross and an icon of Jesus Christ among soldiers, injured people and participants to the manifestation against Ceaușescu's regime in Bucharest, from the square "Piața Romană" to the "University Square".
In recognition of his courage, the poet Ioan Alexandru has received from the U.S. Congress the American flag "Old Glory", which was on the Congress' building on August 31, 1993, in honour of Romania. Ioan Alexandru is the co-founder of the Prayer Group in the Romanian Parliament, and the founder of the Christian association "Pro-Vita" in Romania. In 1995 he suffered a stroke, after which he lived in Germany.