Paul Hasluck is described in the preface to Paul Hasluck in Australian History (1998) as a 'poet, journalist, historian, academic, public servant, member of parliament, minister and ultimately governor general'.
Hasluck commenced his career as a journalist in 1922, ending as a sub-editor at The West Australian in 1938. During this time he was a very active member of the Perth Repertory Club and wrote theatre reviews under the pseudonym 'Polygon.' He also became assistant secretary of the newly formed Historical Society of Western Australia.
In 1934, Hasluck went through the Kimberley region with the Moseley Royal Commission investigating Aboriginal conditions, and later travelled extensively in Australia and overseas. In 1939 and 1940 he taught history at the University of Western Australia.
At the suggestion of John Curtin, Hasluck joined the Australian diplomatic service in 1941. He served under Dr Evatt with the Australian mission to the United Nations. On his return to an academic career at the University of Western Australia in 1947, he commenced writing The Government and the People, 1939-1941 and The Government and the People, 1942-1945, volumes one and two of the official war history, Australia in the War of 1939-1945. Series 4, Civil (1952-1970).
Hasluck was elected to parliament in 1949 representing the federal seat of Curtin. He became Minister for Territories in 1951, retaining this portfolio for more than a decade. In 1964 he became Minister for External Affairs. In 1969, he was appointed Governor General, holding the position until 1974. He received many awards during his career and was made GCMG in 1969, a GCVO in 1970, and KG in 1979.
Hasluck also published, in 1988, Shades of Darkness : Aboriginal Affairs 1925-1965 and in 1976 A Time for Building: Australian Administration in Papua and New Guinea, 1951 -1963 which was highly commended in the 1976 National Book Council Awards for Australian Literature. In 1975 he delivered an inaugural lecture entitled The History of King George's Sound : The First Chapter for the Albany [Western Australia] Promotion Committee which was published by the Committee.
Sir Paul Hasluck married Alexandra Hasluck in 1932 and is the father of Nicholas Hasluck .