Jill Tweedie was born into a comfortable family and attended the independent Croydon High School in South London before finishing her education in Switzerland. She worked in Canada as a radio journalist before becoming a principal columnist on The Guardian's Women's Page. Her column on feminist issues ran from 1969 to 1988. Jill's light style and left-leaning politics captured the spirit of British feminism in the 1970s and 1980s. She was best known for her Letters from a Faint-Hearted Feminist (1981), which was later turned into a television series, and the bestselling novel In the Name of Love (1979). She also published an autobiographical account of her awful childhood years with the title Eating Children (1993). Jill was married three times: to the Hungarian Count Bela Cziraky, to Bob d'Ancona, and finally to journalist Alan Brien.
She is commemorated in a group portrait at the National Portrait Gallery with fellow Guardian Women's Page contributors Mary Stott, Polly Toynbee, Posy Simmonds and Liz Forgan.