Bogdan Zdrojewski was born in 1957, in Kłodzko. He holds degrees in Philosophy (1983) and Cultural Studies (1985) at the University of Wrocław. In 1983 – 1989 he was a member of the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the Wrocław University of Economics, and from 1989 – 1990 he worked for the Institute of Sociology at the University of Wrocław.
As a student (1980 – 1985) he was an active member of the Independent Students’ Union, which he led from 1982 to 1984. He was also a member of the Wrocław Solidarity Citizens’ Committee (1989-1990), honorary chair of the Citizens’ Committee in Lower Silesia (1995-1997) and chair of the Citizens’ Committee National Conference (1996-1997). Bogdan Zdrojewski also served as the co-editor and printer of the underground journals "Komunikaty", "Przedruki" and "Victoria". He founded and served as the director of the Centre for Social Research of the Regional Executive Committee NSZZ “Solidarity” Lower Silesia (1989-1990).
Bogdan Zdrojewski served three terms as a City Councillor for the City of Wrocław (1990 - 1994, 1994 – 1998, and 1998 - 2001). He was the first Mayor of the City of Wrocław elected in free and open local government elections, and was also Poland’s youngest Mayor (he was 33 years old when he took office). He served as Mayor for 11 years (from 4 June 1990 to 1 September 2001). The citizens of Lower Silesia are particularly grateful for his work during the 1997 flood, during which he personally coordinated the city’s response, including by leading efforts to deliver assistance to residents in need.
He first entered Polish parliament as a Senator (1997 – 2000), receiving 241,179 votes as an independent candidate, during which time he did not accept remuneration for his work. He served three terms as a Member of the Polish Parliament. In the period 2005-2007 he held the position of chair of the Parliamentary Commission on National Defence.
He is the Lower Silesia Regional Plenipotentiary for Platforma Obywatelska and has acted as chair of the Lower Silesia Regional Executive Committee since January 2001. Following the parliamentary elections of 2001 he was chosen as a member of the Platforma Obywatelska national executive committee. From December 2006 to November 2007 he was the head of the Platforma Obywatelska Parliamentary Delegation. In January 2006 he took the position of Minister of National Defence in Donald Tusk’s shadow cabinet.
Standing in Wrocław for election to Parliament in 2007, he received the third-highest vote total in all of Poland with 213,883 votes. From 2007 to 2014 he served as Minister of Culture and National Heritage (the longest-serving holder of that office during the Third Polish Republic). Since 1 July 2014 he has been a Member of European Parliament as part of the Platforma Obywatelska delegation.
He is the recipient of numerous orders and decorations, including the Order of Saint Sylvester (SanctiSilvestri), awarded by Pope John Paul II (1998), the Golden Cross of Merit from the President of the Republic of Poland (2002), the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany (2001) and the Order of the Legion d’Honneur from the President of the Republic of France François Holland. In 1997, Bogdan Zdrojewski was the first to be awarded the Andrzej Bączkowski prize, given by the competition jury for "outstanding work as a public servant in his daily work as well as in a time of crisis".
Married, has a daughter Karolina, and a son Stanisław.