Grayling was born in London and studied History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He worked for the BBC and Channel 4 before going into politics. First elected to Parliament in the 2001 general election for Epsom and Ewell, he was first appointed to the Shadow Cabinet of David Cameron in 2005 as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. From 2007 he became the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and in 2009 he was appointed Shadow Home Secretary.
Following the 2010 general election and the formation of the Coalition Government, Grayling was made the Minister of State for Employment. In September 2012, he was appointed to the Cabinet in a reshuffle, replacing Kenneth Clarke as the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He was the first non-lawyer to have served as Lord Chancellor for at least 440 years.
He was the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice from 2012 to 2015 and was Leader of the House of Commons and the Lord President of the Council between 2015 and 2016.
Theresa May has moved him to become Secretary of State for Transport.