Todenhöfer studied law at the universities of Munich, Paris, Bonn and Freiburg. He graduated as a doctor of law in 1969 and worked as a judge from 1972 on. He became a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) in 1970 and was a member of the German parliament from 13 December 1972 to 20 December 1990, (five election periods,) where he represented Tübingen. He also acted as party spokesman for development policy and arms control.
In 1980 he visited Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and started to raise money for refugees. Todenhöfer is one of the most prominent German critics of the US-led wars against Afghanistan and against Iraq in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Till 2008 he has been vice chairman of the executive board at German media company Hubert Burda Media.
He claims that during the war in Iraq the Bush administration was deceiving the public and that the US war in Iraq has killed several hundred thousand Iraqi civilians. He has visited Iraq several times and did original research for his book Why do you kill, Zaid.
He welcomed the International Criminal Court arrest warrant against the Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir and sent an open letter to the Prosecutor General of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, questioning the liability of the ICC. He asked for the reasons which led the prosecutor to indict the Sudanese dictator but not the US president or the British prime minister.
- Wer weint schon um Abdul und Tanaya? (2003)
- Andy und Marwa. Zwei Kinder und der Krieg (2005)
- Warum tötest du, Zaid? (2008)
- Why Do You Kill?: The Untold Story of the Iraqi Resistance, (2008), ISBN 978-1-934708-14-9
- Teile Dein Glück (2010)
- "Du sollst nicht töten: Mein Traum vom Frieden " (2013)
- Hubert Burda Media - Board
- " WDR5 interview in "Tischgespräch", broadcast 15 September 2008, 03:03 to 04:00
- Jürgen Todenhöfer's webpage
- Jürgen Todenhöfer on Facebook
- Jürgen Todenhöfer's book "Who cries for Abdul and Tanaya? - The Falsities in the Crusade against Terror" (in German)
- "Why do you kill, Zaid?" by Jürgen Todenhöfer (German/English) at the Wayback Machine (archived April 2, 2012)
- "Marwa's story: 10 years since the bomb fell", BBC article, 12 March 2013.