Caroline Benn, née DeCamp, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from Vassar College in 1946 and earned a degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1948. She went to England in 1948 to study at Oxford University, where she met Tony Benn, the future Labour politician. The couple married in 1949 and had four children. She went on to earn a master's degree in English at University College London in 1951. She was a co-founder of the Campaign for Comprehensive Education, a lifelong cause. In 1970, with Brian Simon, she co-authored Halfway There, the definitive study of the progress of comprehensive reform in the UK. In 1997, on the same topic, she published Thirty Years On (1997), co-written with Clyde Chitty. She was a member of the Inner London Education Authority from 1970 to 1977 and a lecturer at Kensington and Hammersmith Further Education College from 1970 to 1996. In addition, she wrote a widely-respected biography of Keir Hardie (1992). Caroline Benn also played an prominent role in her husband's political career.