Born in Bucharest, Georgescu studied history at the University of Bucharest, and worked at the Romanian-Russian Museum until it was closed down in 1963, when he was transferred to the Institute of Southeastern European Studies in Bucharest.
He got a PhD in history from the University of Bucharest in 1970 and published works on 18th and 19th century Romanian history. Georgescu taught in 1967 and 1968 at the University of California, Los Angeles and in 1973 at Columbia University.
In 1977, Georgescu was jailed for two months for disputing the role of the Communist Party in history in the manuscript of a book which he had sent abroad. Two years later he left the country, becoming a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and teaching at the University of Maryland and at Rutgers University. Georgescu then returned to Europe and worked for the Radio Free Europe.
In 1987, a week after Georgescu announced that he would broadcast fragments from Ion Mihai Pacepa's Red Horizons, he received a warning from a Securitate general that he would not live more than a year if he went on to broadcast it. Georgescu ignored the warning and went ahead and broadcast it.
A year after that, he died of a brain tumor at the age of 51, presumably having been irradiated by the Securitate. In 2007, Cotidianul published informative notes sent by Constantin Bălăceanu-Stolnici to the Securitate, which included a sketch of Georgescu's Munich apartment, drawn after a visit to his place, which might have helped in his possible assassination.
He was married to Mary, with whom he had a son, Tudor.
- Din corespondenţa diplomatică a Ţării Romîneşti, Muzeul Romîno-Rus, Bucureşti, 1962, 268 p.
- Political Ideas and the Enlightenment in the Romanian Principalities (1750–1831), Boulder (East European Quarterly), New York (Columbia University Press), 1971
- Ideile politice şi iluminismul în principatele române (1750–1831), Editura Academiei RSR, Bucureşti, 1972
- Politică şi istorie: cazul comuniştilor români 1944-1977, editura Jon Dumitru (colecţia Clio fără mască), München, 1981 (reprinted in Romania after 1990 by Editura Humanitas), 158 p.
- Istoria românilor de la origini pînă în zilele noastre, München, 1984, 394 p. (ed. a III-a, Editura Humanitas, Bucureşti, 1992)
- Istoria ideilor politice româneşti, editura Jon Dumitru (colecţia Clio fără mască), München, 1987
- Romania anilor '80, editura Jon Dumitru (colecţia Clio fără mască), München, 1994, 254 p.
- "Vlad Georgescu of Rumania Is Dead at 51", The New York Times November 15, 1988
- Emil Hurezeanu, "Europa Liberă: Asasinate la comandă", Jurnalul Naţional, February 2, 2004
- "Stolnici, spion la Europa Libera: dovada", Cotidianul, 4 December 2007
- "Bălăceanu-Stolnici, complice la asasinatele de la Europa Liberă", Cotidianul 28 November 2007