He was born as son of Martha Frahm and John Möller in 1913 in Lübeck. He never met his father and grew up with his mother and his grandfather.
He fled to Norway when the Nazis took over government in Germany. He led a contact office for the resistance against the Nazi regime. After he lost his German citizenship, he became Norwegian. The Germans arrested him when they occupied Norway. He fled to Sweden. In 1945, Brandt returned to Germany as writer for Scandinaviannewspapers.
In 1971, he got the Nobel Peace Prize for his politics.
In 1972, Rainer Barzel of the CDU believed he could end the Brandt administration, but he failed to win the vote of no-confidence. Brandt was re-elected to a second term later that year. In 1974, Günther Guillaume who worked in Brandt's office was discovered to be a spy. Brandt resigned and Helmut Schmidt became chancellor.