Jerzy attended the University of Warsaw between 1946 and 1950, studied philosophy and sociology.
Ficowski served in the Polish underground Home Army during World War II, fought in Warsaw Uprising in 1944, was imprisoned from 1944 until 1945. Ficowski published his first volume of poetry "Ołowiani żołnierze" (The Tin Soldiers) in 1948. From 1948 to 1950 Ficowski chose to travel with Polish Gypsies and came to write several volumes on or inspired by the Roma way of life, including "Amulety i defilacje" (Amulets and Definitions, 1960) and "Cyganie na polskich drogach" (Gypsies on the Polish Roads, 1965). He also worked with "Mazowsze" (Polish national song and dance ensemble) in 1951. As a translator, he translated the poems of Bronisława Wajs, Federico García Lorca. He was also a known specialist of Jewish folklore and Modern Hebrew poetry, becoming an editor of the Jewish poem anthology "Rodzynki z migdałami". Ficowski devoted many years of his life to the study of the life and works of Bruno Schulz, and in 1967 published the first edition of what is considered the definitive biography of him, entitled "Regions of the Great Heresy". He died on May 9, 2006 (aged 81) in Warsaw, Poland.
Jerzy was active in the opposition movement, and was a member of the Workers' Defence Committee (Komitet Obrony Robotników, KOR) and subsequently of the Committee for Social Self-defence KOR. Under the communist regime he had urged his fellow writers to voice their concerns over censorship and the suppression of workers.
Jerzy was a member of Stowarzyszenie Pisarzy Polskich (Polish Writers’ Association), PEN Club, Polish Centre (board member), Gypsy Lore Society (England); honorary member of Gypsy Cultural Society (Poland), Polish Society of Righteous Among the Nations, and Polish Society of Children of the Holocaust.
Jerzy's first wife was Wanda Komala. They married on May 4, 1951, but the the couple divorced. Thereafter he married Elzbieta Bussold on November 21, 1968. Ficowski had 2 children from the first marriage (Krystyna, Magdalena) and a child from the second marriage (Anna).