Janet Daley was born in America and has lived in Britain since 1965. She was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, and at London University.  She spent twenty years in academic life, teaching philosophy at the Open University, the External department of London University and the Royal College of Art.  She wrote extensively about art and literary criticism from the late 1960's until the early 1980's and then left teaching to become a full-time journalist in 1987, writing for The Times, The Independent, Sunday Telegraph, and the Spectator. Janet is also a visiting Professor at Buckingham University and a Research Fellow with the Centre for Policy Studies.

She joined The Independent as a columnist in 1989, before moving to The Times as a columnist and leader writer in 1990 where she stayed until 1996 when she joined The Daily Telegraph as a columnist and leader writer. She continues to write a weekly political column and a daily blog for The Sunday Telegraph covering subjects across the Media, American Politics, Social behaviour & welfare, The NHS, Education, Immigration and the Criminal Judicial System.

For over ten years she was a regular panellist on Radio 4's Moral Maze before deciding to step down in April 2001. Other broadcasting experience includes BBC Radio 4, Any Questions?, BBC TV's Question Time and Breakfast with Frost as well as Answer the Question and The Adam Boulton programme on Sunday broadcast by Sky News and Straight Talk for BBC News Channel. She also continues to contribute to Dateline London for BBC News Channel and was a regular panellist for BBC News 24, Head to Head with David Aaronovitch which ran for several years. Other credits include, a weekly political panel debate on Five News with key political figures. She is a regular contributor to various Radio 4 programmes.

She has published two novels: All Good Men, Chatto and Windus, 1987; and Honourable Friends, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989.