Heini Gruffudd was brought up in Swansea, the son of the late Professor J. Gwyn Griffiths and Dr Kate Bosse Griffiths. He spent most of his career as a Welsh teacher, before being appointed as a lecturer at the Department of Adult Continuing Education in Swansea University in 1990.
Since his early retirement in 2003, he has continued to work as a consultant and translator. He was chair of the Executive Committee of the 2006 National Eisteddfod in Swansea, and for many years has been a mainstay of Welsh language life in the city.
He has published extensively, including popular books for learners; he won many awards in 2012 for his volume Yr Erlid in which he records the history of his mother’s early life (later published in English as A Haven from Hitler).
Heini Gruffudd contributed to the Coleg Cymraeg’s work as a consultant and as a member of project panels.