Milorad Dodik was born on 12 March 1959 in Banja Luka. He finished elementary school in Laktaši and secondary school in Banja Luka. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade.
From 1986 to 1990, as the youngest official in the former Yugoslavia, he successfully held various offices in the municipality of Laktaši, including the function of President of the Executive Board of the Laktaši Municipal Assembly.
At the first multiparty elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990, he was elected to the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the list of the Union of Reform Forces. Due to disagreements with the governing structure at the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska during the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he formed the Caucus of Independent Members of Parliament, which was the backbone for the formation of the Party of Independent Social Democrats in1996, of which he is the President from its founding.
He was re-elected to the Republic of Srpska National Assembly as a deputy in 1997, and a year later, in 1998, he was elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska. He held this position until January 2001.
He was again elected deputy in the RS National Assembly at the list of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats in 2002, and performed that duty until 2006 when he took over as Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska in February for the second time.
He became Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska in December of the same year for the third time, after his party won a landslide victory at the general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He was Prime Minister until October 2010 when he received convincing support and trust of voters, and was elected President of the Republic of Srpska. He was officially inaugurated on 15 November 2010.
After a significant victory at the October 12, 2014 elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he was elected President of Republika Srpska for a second consecutive term.
Milorad Dodik has received several awards and decorations, among which the most important are the Order of Nemanjić, the Order of the Republic of Srpska with Sash, the Order of Peter the Great with Sash awarded by the National Committee for Social Recognition of the Russian Federation for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of Russian-Serb co-operation. The Serbian Orthodox Church awarded him the Order of Saint Sava 1st Class, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem granted him the Holy Cross of the Guard of the Tomb of Christ.
He is an honorary citizen of several cities in the Republic of Srpska.
Milorad Dodik is a long-time prominent sports official as well. He was the President of the Igokea Basketball Club for more than 10 years, being one of the founders, and the Basketball Club Partizan from Belgrade awarded him the title of honorary president of the club.
He is married, father of two. He has three grandchildren.