He was born on 1 July 1947 in a farmers’ family of modest means at Akhmau village in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh. Educated at Robertson College and Jabalpur Engineering College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh in B.E. (Civil). President, Students Union, Jabalpur, Engineering College, 1971; influenced by the teachings of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia; active youth leader and participated in a number of mass movements; Detained under MISA during 1969-70, 1972 and 1975; played a significant role in the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations.
Sharad Yadav has won four times in 1991, 1996, 1999 and 2009 from Bihar’s Madhepura Lok Sabha constituency from where Acharya Kriplani was elected in 1957. He also won thrice from other Lok Sabha constituencies. He has been defeated thrice from Madhepura constituency – twice by Lalu Prasad Yadav in 1998 and 2004 and by Pappu Yadav of RJD in 2014.
He was elected the first time from Jabalpur (MP) constituency of Lok Sabha in 1974. It was the time when JP Movement was at the peak and he was the first candidate chosen by Shri Jai Prakash Narayan for political arena on election symbol of Haldar Kisan. Again, he was elected from the same constituency in 1977. He was elected from Badaun (UP) Lok Sabha constituency in the year 1989. Thereafter, he has been contesting from Madhepura Lok Sabha constituency except in the by-election caused by Lalu Yadav resigning his seat in 2004.