Hamid Mir was born in Lahore in July 1966. He studied and completed his secondary education at University Laboratory School New Campus and Government Central Model School, Lahore. He received his intermediate degree from Government Science College and his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Government College. He earned his Master of Arts (MA) in mass communications from the University of Punjab in 1989. He played cricket but left the sport after the sudden death of his father.
Hamid Mir belongs to a literary and journalistic family. His grandfather Mir Abdul Aziz was an Urdu, Persian, and Punjabi language poet from Sialkot. His father, professor Waris Mir was also a columnist for Daily Jang and a critic of military dictator general Ziaul Haq, for which he was removed from the chairmanship of the Mass Communication Department of the University in the 1980s. His father died on 9 July 1987 under mysterious circumstances at the age of 48; it has been alleged that he was poisoned by the military regime. Hamid Mir entered the field of journalism immediately after the death of his father at a very young age.
Hamid Mir has three brothers, two are also journalists. Amir Mir and Imran Mir. Hamid Mir's wife worked with Pakistan television and for a private television channel for many years. The couple has two children, son Arafat Mir and daughter Ayesha Mir. His children and wife were forced to spend at least three months outside Pakistan from May 2007 to July 2007 for security reasons.
Hamid Mir joined the Daily Jang (Lahore) in 1987 and worked there as sub-editor, reporter, feature writer and edition in charge. In 1994, he broke the submarines purchase scandal in Daily Jang. Some close friends of Asif Zardari were involved in that scandal, along with some Navy officials. Hamid Mir lost his job the day his article was published.
In 1996, Hamid Mir became the editor of the Daily Pakistan in Islamabad, making him the youngest editor of any national Urdu newspaper in the history of Pakistani journalism. He lost his job again in 1997, when he wrote an article in the Daily Pakistan about the alleged corruption of prime minister Nawaz Sharif. On 25 December 1997, he launched Daily Ausaf (Islamabad) as founding editor.
Hamid Mir went to eastern Afghanistan, where he investigated the escape of Osama bin Laden from Tora Bora mountains in December 2001. He visited the caves of bin Ladin, during the American bombing. He also disclosed that it was U.S. backed Northern Alliance leader Hazrat Ali who provided safe passage to bin Laden after getting a huge bribe.
In 2002, Hamid Mir joined GEO TV as the Northern Region editor. Since November 2002, he has hosted GEO TV's Capital Talk, a political talk show in which top Pakistani politicians from the government and opposition have appeared. He is also writing a biography of Osama bin Laden, as well as a weekly column in Daily Jang.
He has interviewed Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair and L K Advani. Hamid Mir was arrested by Hezbullah in Beirut during Israel-Lebanon war in July 2006 while trying to cover the scenes of Israeli jets bombing on Beirut, but was later set free after Hezbullah was assured that he was not an Israeli spy.
On 16 March 2007, during live coverage of the lawyers' protest against the suspension of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Hamid Mir was attacked by police at his Islamabad office. Later the then President, Pervez Musharraf apologised to Mir in his live TV show Capital Talk within few hours of the attack. He was banned by General Pervez Musharraf in November 2007 for four months on Geo News network. Hamid Mir came on roads after the ban and organised street shows. He became famous after staging shows on the roads, gathering huge crowds. The Washington Post published a front-page article on his show on the roads. He was again banned by the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in June 2008 for a few days on Geo News. His investigative documentary on the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto aired on Geo TV on 23 December 2008, and created considerable controversy in Pakistan.
Hamid Mir worked as a voice of peace and objective journalism during the India–Pakistan tension created after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Der Spiegel declared him the most popular journalist in Pakistan.
Hamid Mir has participated in many international seminars and conferences on terrorism. He appears often on CNN, BBC and many Indian channels as a security analyst. He claimed in an interview with independent online news source Canadian FreePress.com that al-Qaeda had acquired three so called 'suitcase nukes' from Russia, and had successfully smuggled them to Europe. He alleges these weapons have been in the possession of al-Qaeda since long before the September 11 attacks, and that they were originally intended to be targeted against London, Paris and Los Angeles.
Hamid Mir also claims that al-Qaeda has 23 sleeper agents inside the United States (minus the 19 who died carrying out the 9/11 attacks) and that these terrorists already have enough radioactive material for six 'dirty bombs'.
In May 2010, an audio tape of a conversation between Hamid Mir and one Usman Punjabi who was allegedly the 2nd in command of Hakimullah Mehsud surfaced. In the tape they discussed then-kidnapped Khalid Khawaja with Hamid Mir urging that he be further interrogated by his Taliban-linked captors. Khawaja was killed in April 2010 by his captors. Rashed Rahman, editor of the English-language Daily Times newspaper said, If this tape turns out to be genuine, it suggests a journalist instigated the murder of a kidnapee. A line must be drawn somewhere.
Hamid Mir has denied the authenticity of the tape, I never said these things to these people. This is a concocted tape. They took my voice, sampled it and manufactured this conspiracy against me. Nothing was proved against him in any court. Later on Usman Punjabi was killed by Taliban.