Thaçi was born in Tetovo (Macedonia), his parents were both from Kosovo, he is the fifth of six children. He attended primary and secondary school in Tetovo and graduated from the University of Pristina.
He has been an active politician for 20 years. He started as vice-president of the Party for Democratic Prosperity of Albanians (PDPA). In 1997 a merger was formed between the Party for Democratic Prosperity of Albanians (PDPA) and the People's Democratic Party (NDP).
He was vice-president until the year 2006, at that time he was chosen President of the Party, after Arben Xhaferi resigned.
Thaçi remains on the US blacklist, as of July 2012, along with DUI vice-president Xhevat Ademi, president of New Democracy Kastriot Haxhirexha, and seven other Albanian Macedonian political figures for involvement in the 2001 ethnic Albanian insurgency.