Abdus Samad Azad was born on 15 January in 1926 in Bhurakhali village under Jagannathpur thana under Sunamganj district.
He passed the Matriculation in 1943 from Sunamganj Government High School after completing primary education from his village primary school. His father late Mohammad Shariatullah was a distinguished social worker of the locality.
Abdus Samad Azad had his graduation from Sylhet Murari Chand College in 1948. Thereafter, he pursued studies in law and history at the Dhaka University.
Alhaj Azad entered student politics in 1940 as President of Sunamganj Sub-divisional Muslim Students Federation and was arrested by the British rulers. He was President at Sylhet District Muslim Students' Federation from 1944 to 1948.
In 1954, he was elected member of the then Provincial Assembly as a nominee of the United Front.
He was elected Member of the Pakistan National Assembly in 1970. After the Independence of Bangladesh, Samad Azad emerge victorious from two constituencies of Sunamganj in the Jatiya Sangsad election of 1973.
During the British period, while still a student, Samad Azad became involved in politics against the British rule and in connection with various regional issues of Assam region and suffered imprisonment.
In 1954, the central government of Pakistan issued warrant of arrest against him under Section 92 (a) and attached his property. He was arrested again in 1956 on charge of association with the police strike in the whole of then East Pakistan.
Samad Azad was arrested again in 1958 after imposition of the marital law by Ayub Khan and was released in 1962.
He was put behind the bar in 1964 while facing a communal riot. He as taken prisoner along with the four national leaders after the killing of Bangabandhu and his family members on 15 August in 1975.
Afterwards, the four national leaders were killed in custody and Azad was sentenced to imprisonment by a military court. But he was released from jail after five years under the pressure of political movement.
He was a front rank leader in the movement against the military rule of President Ziaur Rahman. He had played a significant role as a policy maker in various movements and struggles since 1982 against the military rule of General Ershad.
He had a long and illustrious political life. He had performed his responsibilities as Acting President of the then East Pakistan Juba League in 1953, labour secretary East Pakistan Awami League during 1955–57.
He was political advisor of the Provincial Government of Bangladesh at Mujibnagar during the liberation war. He led Bangladesh Government delegation to the World Peace Conference in Budapest of Hungary in 1971.
Samad Azad was elected Member of the Jatiya Sangsad from Sunamganj-3 constituency in the general election of 27 February in 1991. In the first Sangsad session he submitted the constitution amendment bill for the establishment of parliamentary democracy on the basis of the framework of the three-party alliance.
Samad Azad resigned from the Jatiya Sangsad along with other members of the combined opposition on 28 December 1994 at the height of the movement on the demand for caretaker government in 1993.
As the chief coordinator of the combined opposition, Azad led the movement for caretaker government to an extraordinary success. He was elected member of the Jatiya Sangsad again in the 12 June election held under the caretaker government in 1996.
He was the in charge of the Foreign Ministry in the Cabinet headed by the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He was also deputy leader of the House in the parliament.
He was the first Foreign Minister of the country after the independence in the Council of Ministers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mijibur Rahman.
He was elected member of parliament in the general elections in 2001.
He was father three sons and a daughter.
He was a leader and an executive member of the Awami League and a friend to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by 1970 when he became the chief representative of the Bangladeshi independence movement in exile, helping the movement get international support while Mujibur Rahman was imprisoned. When independence for Bangladesh was achieved in 1971, Azad became its first foreign minister, within the Mujibur Rahman government. He served in that position until 1973 and then became agriculture minister. He was replaced by Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad as foreign minister.
Azad did not support the 1975 military coup in which Mujibur Rahman was killed. He was imprisoned until 1978. In 1996, when the Awami League came back to power under Mujibur Rahman's daughter, Sheikh Hasina, Azad was appointed foreign minister again. He served in that position until 2001 when the Awami League lost elections.
Azad died at a hospital in Dhaka of stomach cancer. He had undergone medical treatment in India but became ill again after returning to Bangladesh and remained in the hospital from February 2005 until his death at the age of 83. He was buried in Banani Graveyard, Dhaka.