Lytvyn was born in Sloboda-Romanivska village in the Novohrad-Volynskyi Raion of the Zhytomyr Oblast. Lytvyn graduated from the Kiev University (Faculty of History) in 1978. In 1984 he defended his dissertation "Efforts of the Communist Party of Ukraine in improving the preparation of teachers in social disciplines".
Lytvyn started his career at the Kiev State University (1978−86), then he worked as Head of Directorate in the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Vocational Training of the Ukrainian SSR (1986−89). Between 1989 and 1991 he worked as a political analyst at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, the Ukrainian branch of CPSU.
Lytvyn is a correspondent member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Honored Worker of Sciences and Technology of Ukraine. However, in 2002 he was publicly and reasonably accused of plagiarizing a Western scholar when writing his article to Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper.
He is married to Tetyana Kostyantynivna (born 1960), an economist. Their daughter Olena (born 1982) is a beauty industry entrepreneur, and their son Ivan (born 1989) is a student.
Lytvyn's hobbies include reading, football, and taking care of dalmatian dogs.
In 1994, Lytvyn became the aide to the newly elected President Leonid Kuchma. In 1999, he was appointed as the head of the Presidential Administration. During the Cassette Scandal audiotapes where released on which Kuchma, Lytvyn and other top-level administration officials are allegedly heard discussing the need to silence Georgiy Gongadze for his online news reports about high-level corruption. Gongadze’s decapitated body was found in the suburbs of Kiev in November 2000.
In 2002, Lytvyn was elected to Verkhovna Rada as the head of the party bloc For United Ukraine ("Za edynu Ukrainu"). He became the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (speaker) of the legislature as a compromising figure among the parliamentary factions.
Lytvyn refused to take part in the presidential election of 2004 despite his significant political influence.
Lytvyn's brother, Mykola Lytvyn was the chief of Ukraine's Border Guard.
Lytvyn is known for his ironic political expressions. One of his best-known sentences is "I do not protest at forming an artificial majority in our parliament. But I want this majority to include every member of parliament."
At the parliamentary elections on March 26, 2006 his Lytvyn's People's Bloc won 2.44% of the popular vote and no seats since it did not meet the 3 percent threshold. Lytvyn's allies (together with other parties) declared the voting results forged, filing a court suit and starting a public campaign. However, Lytvyn himself avoids press and shows deep disappointment since the results announced. Elected vice-chairman NAN.
In the early parliamentary election held on September 30, 2007, the Lytvyn Bloc (renamed from Lytvyn's People's Bloc) consisted of the People's Party and the Labour Party. The bloc placed fifth with 20 out of 450 seats.
On December 6, 2009 Mykola Melnychenko, former bodyguard to Kuchma, accused Lytvyn of ordering the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze in 2000. A spokesperson for Lytvyn dismissed the claims as part of the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election campaign. During the election Lytvyn received 2,35% of the votes.
Lytvyn took part in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election as an People's Party candidate in single-member districts number 65 (first-past-the-post wins a parliament seat) located in Narodychi Raion. He won a parliamentary seat by winning this constituency.
In the 2014 parliamentary election Lytvyn was re-elected into parliament as an independent candidate in elctorial district 65 located in Novohrad-Volynskyi with 41.48% of the votes.
In 2000 Melnychenko released a secretly-taped recording allegedly of a conversation between Kuchma and Lytvyn in which the two discussed getting rid of Gongadze. Lytvyn is alleged to have said that Kuchma should "let loose [Interior Minister] Kravchenko to use alternative methods" on Gongadze. Lytvyn denied the allegation, saying that the tape was a fabrication. Independent experts who have analysed the tapes are divided as to their authenticity. Gongadze was found beheaded in a shallow grave in 2000. In 2005, Kravchenko was found dead with two bullets in his head. Official investigations concluded that he had committed suicide and that he had ordered Gongadze's murder. Lytvyn stated "The investigation confirmed my innocence in this case, despite the fact that efforts have been, are being and will be taken to make me practically the main person accused [of killing the journalist]".
During the trial of Oleksiy Pukach, Pukach claimed that (former) Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Lytvyn (at the time of the murder Kuchma's head of his Presidential Administration) had ordered the murder of Gongadze.Father - Mykhailo Klymovych (1930)
Mother - Olha Andriivna (1929)
Mykola Lytvyn (1961), General of the Army, Border Troops commander
Petro Lytvyn, a commander of the Southern Operational Command of Ukrainian Ground Forces
Volodymyr Lytvyn was bestowed upon the following awards:Hero of Ukraine (2004)
State Prize in Science and Technology (1999)
Distinguished Scientists of Ukraine (1998)