Cross-modal person re-identification (Re-ID) is critical for modern video surveillance systems. The key challenge is to align cross-modality representations conforming to semantic information present for a person and ignore background information. This work presents a novel convolutional neural network (CNN) based architecture designed to learn semantically aligned cross-modal visual and textual representations. The underlying building block, named AXM-Block, is a unified multi-layer network that dynamically exploits the multi-scale knowledge from both modalities and re-calibrates each modality according to shared semantics. To complement the convolutional design, contextual attention is applied in the text branch to manipulate long-term dependencies. Moreover, we propose a unique design to enhance visual part-based feature coherence and locality information. Our framework is novel in its ability to implicitly learn aligned semantics between modalities during the feature learning stage. The unified feature learning effectively utilizes textual data as a super-annotation signal for visual representation learning and automatically rejects irrelevant information. The entire AXM-Net is trained end-to-end on CUHK-PEDES data. We report results on two tasks, person search and cross-modal Re-ID. The AXM-Net outperforms the current state-of-the-art (SOTA) methods and achieves 64.44% Rank@1 on the CUHK-PEDES test set. It also outperforms by >10% for cross-viewpoint text-to-image Re-ID scenarios on CrossRe-ID and CUHK-SYSU datasets.