Frederik Hetmann was born in the Breslau region in south-western Germany in 1934 and spent his childhood in Lower Saxony, Berlin and Frankfurt. After completing secondary school he studied teaching, English, Romance languages, philosophy and political science at the universities in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich and Madrid. He taught at a business school in Wiesbaden before training as a translator and interpreter in Munich between 1959 and 1961. His first book for teens, "Blues für Ari Loeb", was published in 1961. Hetmann then worked primarily as a writer before serving as the publisher of the "Junge Reihe", a series of books for young readers, at the Otto Maier Verlag between 1972 and 1978. He subsequently returned to full-time writing.
In addition to fairy tales and fantasy literature, his extensive output as an author focused primarily on biographies of renowned figures. Many of his works were chosen for awards.
Frederik Hetmann died on June 1, 2006.