Rajkumar Hirani was born in Nagpur and studied there upto graduation. Right through his student days, he was very actively involved with Hindi theatre in Nagpur. Following his graduation, he headed for the Film & Television Institute of India at Pune, where he completed his Diploma in Cinema in 1987 with a specialization in editing. He began his career in Mumbai as an Editor. Bad experiences made him shift to advertising and gradually established himself as a director and producer of advertising films.
He was also seen in a Fevicol ad where some guys and elephants are trying to pull and break a Fevicol plank saying "Jor laga ke Haisha". He was doing good in advertisement business but he wanted to make movies so he took a break from advertisement and started working with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He worked on promos and trailers for 1942: A Love Story. He edited promos for Kareeb. He got a big break as a film editor with Mission Kashmir.
Rajkumar Hirani's first directorial venture was Munnabhai MBBS which is considered a cult classic. Munnabhai MBBS not only broke all formulaic conventions associated with Bollywood films but also became a trend setter. Made on a budget of Rs. 10 crores, it was a huge hit worldwide and took a distributor share of Rs. 25 crores from the Indian market. His second directorial effort was Lage Raho Munnabhai which had a strong cultural impact in India, popularising Gandhism under Munna Bhai's notion of Gandhigiri. The film was generally well-received by both critics and the mass audience and was a huge box office success.
His third film was the comedy 3 Idiots starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Omi Vaidya, Parikshit Sahni and Boman Irani. The film was also very well received by the critics and became the highest grosser in Indian cinema shattering all records across Indian and overseas markets
In his personal life, Hirani is married to Manjeet Hirani, and currently lives in Mumbai.