Hein was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and was educated at Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa and York University in Toronto, Ontario. After graduating, he and his fiancée moved to New York City in 1999 where he worked at a music studio and she studied at The Actor's Studio. After spending several years studying and working in New York the couple returned to Toronto where Hein wrote a song "My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding", about his mother and her later life partner, which he and Sankoff expanded into a play that was staged at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2009 and then picked up by Mirvish Productions for a run at Toronto's Panasonic Theatre before touring Canada.
As a result of My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding's success, theatre producer Michael Rubinoff approached Hein and Sankoff with his idea about a show based on Operation Yellow Ribbon in which residents of Gander, Newfoundland, housed 7,000 airline passengers who had been stranded at Gander Airport as a result of the grounding of all North American air flights following the September 11 attacks, which became the musical Come from Away.
- Morrow, Martin (March 30, 2017). "Q&A: Irene Sankoff and David Hein, creators of the Toronto-born Broadway hit Come From Away". Toronto Life. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Robb, Peter (August 16, 2019). "Come from Away: Success for writing team travels from Fringe to Broadway". Artsfile.
- Nestruck, J. Kelly (February 17, 2017). "Landing on their feet". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "W5: My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding hits main stage". CTV News. November 21, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "Review: My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding". CBC News. May 11, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Ouzounian, Richard (December 14, 2015). "From Sept. 11 tragedy, a theatrical triumph". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Wong, Tony (November 13, 2016). "From Gander to Broadway". Toronto Star. p. E2. Retrieved June 12, 2017.