A graduate in law, Satyamurti was a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress. He propagated nationalist views in the South and became the Secretary and later President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee. Because of his activities, Satyamurti came to be known as the Firebrand of South India.

From 1923 to 1930, he was a member of the Madras Legislative Council where he was the secretary and later deputy leader of the Congress. He withdrew from the Council in 1930 to participate in the Salt Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience Movement. He was imprisoned as a result. From 1933 to 1942, he remained a member of the Central Legislative Assembly.

In 1939, he became the Mayor of Madras Corporation and prepared details of the Poondi Dam Project—later renamed as Satyamurti Sagar. He also held the posts of the President of the South India Film Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Indian Motion Picture Congress. In 1942, he was imprisoned for his contribution to the Quit India Movement. In 1943, he died while in detention.