Joel Thomas Broyhill attended public schools and the Fork Union Military Academy. Then he went 1939-1941 on the George Washington University. Broyhill occurred in February 1942 in the U.S. Army, where he held the rank of captain in the 106th Infantry Division. He was transferred to Europe where you captured at the Battle of the Bulge him. After six months in a German prison camp, he managed to escape and join the advancing American troops. After four years of service, he was discharged from active service on 1 November 1945. He returned in the same year returned to the United States, where he began working in his father's construction company, MT Broyhill & Sons. In the following time he was president of the Chamber of Commerce of Arlington County and had presided over the Arlington County Planning Commission.
Broyhill was elected to the 83rd U.S. Congress and reelected to the ten succeeding U.S. Congresses. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 3 January 1953 until his resignation on 31 December 1974. During his re-election attempt in 1974 in the 94th Congress, he suffered a defeat. During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives Broyhill was one of the signatories of the Southern Manifesto, a protest letter, which is to oppose desegregation ( desegregation ).