Van Heuven Goedhart studied Law at Leiden University and graduated in 1926. The year before, he had already become a reporter for newspaper De Telegraaf. On January 1, 1930, at the age of 28, he was promoted to editor in chief. He was fired on June 1, 1933, because he refused to publish an article that called the newly elected German leader Adolf Hitler "a great statesman". He became editor in chief of regional newspaper Utrechts Nieuwsblad, where he would stay in office until the German invasion of the Netherlands.
During the Second World War, Van Heuven Goedhart worked as a reporter and editor in chief for the illegal resistance newspaper Het Parool. In 1944 he fled to London, where he was appointed Minister of Justice in the government in exile.
After the Second World War, Van Heuven Goedhart returned to Het Parool, where he once again become editor in chief. In 1947, he also became Senator for the Labour Party. In 1951, he gave up both occupations to become the first High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations. Under Van Heuven Goedhart, the UNHCR was awarded the 1954 Nobel Peace Prize.
Van Heuven Goedhart was also the first chairman of the "state committee for the coordination of government information" (), the predecessor of the Netherlands Government Information Service ().Click here to hide this biography