He graduated from the law school of the University of Chile in 1922.
In 1930 he moved to Santiago to take a seat in the chamber of deputies, where he served until 1939.
From 1939 to 1941 he was Chile's minister to France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, and in 1942 he was ambassador to Brazil. In 1945 he was elected to the senate. He twice presided over the Radical Party. The first time was in 1932, during the campaign that resulted in the return to the presidency of Arturo Alessandri. The second time was in 1938, when he directed the coalition of leftist parties that elected Pedro Aguirre Cerda to the presidency. Gonzalez Videla was elected to a six-year term as president of Chile on Nov. 3, 1946. By appointing three members of the Communist Party to his cabinet, he became the first president in the Americas to name Communists to his cabinet. However, he later broke with the Communists and outlawed the party in 1948. Gonzalez Videla visited the United States in April 1950. He was succeeded in the presidency on Nov. 3, 1952, by Carlos Ibanez del Campo and then retired from active politics to go into banking. Gonzalez Videla returned to politics briefly in 1964 to serve as president of the Democratic Front.