Rajagopal Parthasarathy was educated at Don Bosco High School and Siddharth College, Mumbai. He received a Master of Arts in English from the University of Mumbai in 1959. Parthasarathy was also educated at Leeds University, United Kingdom, where he was British Council Scholar in 1963–1964.
Parthasarathy was lecturer in English literature in Mumbai for ten years at various colleges, including Ismail Yusuf College, Mithibai College, Presidency College, before joining Oxford University Press in 1971 as Regional Editor in Chennai. He moved to New Delhi in 1978. Parthasarathy is currently Associate Professor of English and Asian Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States .
Parthasarathy's works include "Poetry from Leeds" in 1968, "Rough Passage" brought out by Oxford University Press in 1977.
He translates from Tamil to English. His translation into modern English verse of the 5th-century Tamil epic "The Tale of the Anklet: An Epic of South India" brought out by Columbia UP in 1993.
Rajagopal Parthasarathy was a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Iowa City in 1978-1979.
He married Shobhan Koppikar in 1969 and has two sons.