A law graduate, Gopabandhu Das initially worked as the headmaster of a school in Puri. Later he started his own legal practice. He founded an English-medium high school at Sakhigopal which attracted many future patriots. He launched a monthly journal Satyabadi and a daily, Samaj to arouse nationalist sentiments and to initiate a social crusade. As a member of Utkal Conference, he played an important role in bringing together Oriya-speaking areas under one administration.
He was elected President of Oriya Provincial Congress Committee and to the Legislative Council of Bihar and Orissa. During his presidentship of the Congress Committee, the Utkal Conference merged with the Indian National Congress. He was instrumental in getting the principle of linguistic division of provinces accepted at the 1920 Nagpur session of the Congress. In 1926, he became a member of Servants of India Society and was elected its vice-president. A promoter of liberal outlook, Gopabandhu devoted his life to constructive politics and social work.