Mart Raud was born in Aidu, Governorate of Livonia. He attended the village school in Heimtali (today Pärsti parish) and the parish schools in Paistu and Viljandi. Later he attended the University of Tartu studying literature. In the 1920s, Raud joined the literary movement Arbujad. After the 1940 Soviet occupation of Estonia, however, he was loyal to the new regime and distanced himself from his previous literary companions, many of whom were deported to Siberia. He was the father of children's writer Eno Raud.