Massimo D'Alema was born in Rome, Italy, on 20 April 1949.
He is married to Linda Giuva, and has two children: Giulia and Francesco. He has a high school diploma in classical studies and studied Philosophy at the University of Pisa.
He is a professional journalist and was Chief Editor of the daily newspaper "L'Unità" from 1988 to 1990.
Mr D'Alema's political activities began in 1963, when he joined the Italian Young Communists' Federation (FGCI). In 1975 he was elected General Secretary of the organization, and held that post until 1980. In 1986, Massimo D'Alema became a member of the Secretariat of the Italian Communist Party, and in 1987 was elected member of the Italian Parliament (Camera dei deputati). In 1989, he was actively engaged in the process which transformed the Italian Communist Party into the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS).
In 1992 Mr D'Alema became President of the PDS parliamentary group in the Chamber of Deputies. He was re-elected MP both in 1994 and 1996. In July 1994 he was elected General Secretary of the PDS. On 5 February 1997 Massimo D'Alema was elected Chair of the parliamentary Committee on Constitutional reform; on 4 November 1997 the Committee submitted to the two Houses of Parliament a draft reform of Part II of the Italian Constitution.
On 21 October 1998 Mr D'Alema became Prime Minister of Italy. He was in office until April 2000. In December 2000 he was elected President of the Democrats of the Left. In October 2003, at the 22nd Congress of the Socialist International in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he was elected Vice-President of the S.I. In June 2004 Mr D'Alema became a Member of the European Parliament, where he holds the position of Chair of the EP Delegation for relations between the EU and the Mercosur.
He is also President of a political Foundation called "Fondazione di cultura politica Italianieuropei".
On 9 April 2006 he was elected MP for Apulia representing the Olive Tree coalition.
On 17 May 2006 he was appointed deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary in the Prodi government.
On 22 April 2008 he was elected MP for Apulia representing the Democratic Party.
On 30 June 2010 he was elected President of Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS).