Barbro Alving was born in Uppsala, Sweden, the daughter of writer Fanny Alving and her husband Hjalmar Alving, a teacher of Nordic literature. She never married, but had a daughter, Maud Fanny, in 1938 with illustrator and artist Birger Lundquist. She was an editorial secretary for Idun magazine from 1928 to 1931, then became a journalist at the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter from 1934 to 1959. As a foreign correspondent, she reported from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the Spanish Civil War, and the Winter War in Finland of 1939-1940, and from the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. She also traveled to the USA, Vietnam, Africa, and the Far East for reporting over the years. She became a pacifist, and in the 1950s supported the campaign to prevent Sweden from acquiring nuclear weapon. She refused to participate in the country's civil defense activities, and was jailed for a month. She wrote about her time in prison in her 1956 book Dagbok från Långholmen (Diary of Långholmen, 1956). She wrote numerous other books, some under the pseudonym Bang and some as "Käringen mot strömmen" (Old Woman Against the Current), and collected biographical material about Richard Wagner that was later used for a book by Ulla Isaksson and Erik Hjalmar Linder. She also wrote screenplays for films. The Swedish feminist magazine Bang is named after her. Her daughter, better known as Ruffa Alving-Olin, also became a journalist, and collected and published letters, notes and other materials about her mother.