Dedijer was born in Belgrade, in the Kingdom of Serbia. His family originated from Čepelica, Bileća in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1941 Dedijer became the political commissar for a Yugoslav Partisan unit in Kragujevac. During World War II he was an editor of the Yugoslav Communist Party newspaper Borba, and member of the agitprop section to the General Staff.
After the war he was a member of Yugoslav delegation on 1946 Paris peace conference and on several sessions of United Nations General Assembly (1945–1952). In 1952 he became a member of the Party's Central Committee and the following year he was appointed to the Federal Assembly. In 1955 he was charged along with Milovan Đilas for disseminating "hostile propaganda", but served no jail time. The trial was closed to both the press and public. Dedijer was removed from politics following the trial. He was granted a passport by Yugoslav authorities in 1959 and was allowed to leave the country with his family. From then on, he devoted himself to writing history and teaching (he taught at University of Belgrade and at various universities in United Kingdom and United States). He was later chairman of the self-appointed Russell Tribunal.
One of his most famous books is The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican: The Croatian Massacre of the Serbs During World War II which was translated in several languages. Another book, The Road to Sarajevo, discusses the origins of World War I. In his book Prilozi za biografiju Josipa Broza Tita, Dedijer cited casualties at the Jasenovac concentration camp of 700,000 people, which included Jews and Roma as well as ethnic Serbs. The figure is frequently quoted despite the fact some that historians, Serb and non-Serb alike, do not consider this a reasonable estimate. (The document footnoted here does not, however, state the names of these historians, or its source for this claim, but merely notes it as background information pertaining to recent conflicts in the region.)
On the other hand, there are authors who strongly oppose the claim that 700,000 is an unreasonable estimate, considering it an outright downplay of the body count and a mere apologism.
Dedijer wrote two important accounts of Partisan history: Diary and Tito, both of which have been published in English.
He was Chairman and President of Sessions at the 1966 Russell Tribunal, and member of the Scientific Committee of the Russell Tribunal in Rome in 1974. Among other notables on the Tribunal was Jean-Paul Sartre, whom Dedijer befriended.
- General Encyclopedia of the Yugoslavian Lexicographical Institute, volume 2 (Zagreb, 1977), article Dedijer, Vladimir.
- [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,823719,00.html Surprise Ending, Time Magazine
- 2 Yugoslavs Ruled Guilty Of Treason, St. Petersburg Times, 25 January 1955
- Sabrina P. Ramet, The Dissolution of Yugoslavia
- David Bruce MacDonald, "Identity politics in the age of genocide: the Holocaust and historical representation, 2008, Pg. 167" 
- Antic, Zdenko (22 April 1982), Dedijer-Bakaric Controversy Over Tito's Biography, Radio Free Europe