Lily Braun was born Amalie Lily von Kretschmann in Halberstadt, Prussia to an aristocratic family. Her parents were General Hans von Kretschmann and his wife Jenny. Her maternal grandmother Baroness Jenny von Gusted was also a writer and the illegitimate daughter of Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. Her family provided a broad education with numerous private teachers. In 1893, she married Georg von Gizycki, a professor of philosophy at the Frederick William University in Berlin, who drew her into his socialism, pacifism, and atheism. After her husband's death in in 1895, she remarried the following year to Heinrich Braun, a Social Democratic politician with whom she had a son. Together they published the weekly Die neue Gesellschaft (The New Society). With Minna Cauer, she founded the feminist newspaper Die Frauenbewegung (The Women’s Movement). As Lily Braun, she became a leader of the German feminist movement. She advocated economic freedom for women and new types of personal relations up to the abolition of legal marriage. Among her published works, perhaps the most important was her book Die Frauenfrage, ihre geschichtliche Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Seite (The Women’s Question, Its Historical Development and Its Economic Aspect, 1901). She also wrote the novel Memoiren diner Sozialistin: Kampfjahre (Memoirs of a Woman Socialist: Years of Struggle) and Im Schatten der Titanen: Erinnerungen an Baronin Jenny von Sustedt (In the Shadow of the Titans: Recollections of Baroness Jenny von Sestet, 1908), a biography of her grandmother. Lily died at age 51 following a stroke.