He was born in Paris of Calvinist parents, and was educated for business. However, after his father's death in 1620, he began to move in literary circles, and soon acquired a reputation, though he wrote nothing for many years. He was made councillor and secretary to the king; and in 1629 his house became the resort of a group who met to talk over literary subjects, and to read and mutually criticize their works.
Cardinal Richelieu offered the society his protection, and in this way (1635) the Académie française was created. Its first meetings were held in Conrart's house. He was unanimously elected secretary, and discharged the duties of his post for forty-three years, till his death.