She was born in Daegu province, one of twenty three provinces of the Joseon kingdom. She was enrolled in Kisaeng school, also known as "Gyobang" when she was seven years old, even though the average age of entrants at that time was twelve or thirteen.
Chung Chil-sung became an activist for the March 1st Movement, a public resistance against the Japanese occupation in 1919 .
She studied abroad in Japan in 1922 for a year when she was 15 years old to study English . Afterwards she came back to Daegu to establish the Josun Women's Organization 조선여성동우회, a woman's rights group that was categorized as having socialism at its main influence with other notable Korean feminists such as Ju Sea-Juk 주세죽 and Heo Jong-suk. .