On 18 December 1914, sixteen prominent Afrikaners gathered in Stellenbosch to discuss the establishment of a national newspaper. With considerable financial support from local philanthropists Jannie and Christiaan Marais, the project soon got off the ground with the founding of de Nasionale Pers ("the National Press") and the selection of Dr. D. F. Malan as editor of its daily paper, Die Burger ("The Citizen"). The first issue was published on 26 July 1915.
Die Burger was originally published in Dutch. In 1916, the first Afrikaans-language articles were published. In 1921, the newspaper's Dutch title (De Burger) was translated into Afrikaans (Die Burger).
Die Burger was a newspaper that supported the nationalist cause and apartheid, and used to be the mouthpiece of the National Party of South Africa. This only began to change after 1985, when then editor Piet Cillié, a staunch supporter of the government under B. J. Vorster and P. W. Botha, retired. In 1990, the National Party was officially informed by editor Ebbe Dommisse that it no longer served as a political mouthpiece. This disaffiliation was continued in 1999 with the appointment of a more progressive editor, Arrie Rossouw. In 2006, Henry Jeffreys became the first black editor of the paper.