Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay was born in Mymensingh (now in Bangladesh) on 2 November 1935 and lived there in an orthodox Kulin Brahmin family from Bainkhara, Bikrampur. During partition his family migrated to Kolkata. He spent his childhood in Bihar and many places in Bengal and Assam accompanying his father, who worked in the railways. He passed intermediate from the Victoria College, Koch Bihar before taking a Masters in Bengali from Calcutta University.
Mukhopadhyay started his career as a school teacher and is now on the staff of Anandabazar Patrika at Kolkata. He is associated with the Bengali magazine Desh.