After the early death of his mother, Beer-Hofmann was raised by his aunt's family in Brno and Vienna. In the 1880s he studied law in Vienna, receiving his doctorate in 1890. In the same year he became acquainted with the writers Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Hermann Bahr and Arthur Schnitzler, with whom he shared a long friendship and membership in the Jung Wien (Young Vienna) literary movement. He consequently began his literary activities as a freelance writer.
At first Beer-Hofmann wrote novellas, later moving on to short stories and poetry. In the 1920s he worked as a theatre director for Max Reinhardt, a role which continued until 1932. In 1939 Beer-Hofmann emigrated from Austria, and travelled to New York via Zurich. Subsequently, his works were banned in Austria and Germany. In 1945 he became a United States citizen, but died that same year.
Beer-Hofmann's literary output consists primarily of novellas, dramas, and poems. It can be considered part of the literary current of the Wiener Moderne. Beer-Hofmann received several notable literary awards, including the Volksschillerpreis in 1905 in Germany and the award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1945 in the United States. One year after his death the Beer-Hofmann Society was created in New York.
- Der Tod Georgs
- Der Graf von Charolais
- Gedenkrede auf Wolfgang Amadée Mozart
- Trilogy “Die Historie von König David” (uncompleted)
- Jakobs Traum
- Der junge David
- Paula. Ein Fragment
- Schlaflied für Mirjam
- Hochman, Stanley (ed.) (1984). McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of world drama, A-C. vol. 1. pp. 292–293.
- Richard Beer-Hofmann in the German National Library catalogue
- Works by Richard Beer-Hofmann at Project Gutenberg