- Started playing the piano at the age of 4.
- Formed first vocal quartet, the Co-Sines, while still in high school.
- Met future husband Gerry Goffin while attending Queens College; they formed a songwriting partnership and churned out more than 400 songs that have been recorded by more than 1000 artists.
- Scored her first Top 10 hit in 1961, titled "It Might As Well Rain Until September," a tune cowritten with Goffin.
- Released first album in 1970, titled Writer.
- Her 1971 album Tapestry spawned several hits, including "I Feel the Earth Move," "So Far Away" and her own version of "You've Got a Friend."
- In 1983, took a break from recording, moved to Idaho, and became an environmental activist; she returned to music six years later with City Streets.
- Appeared in a 1988 off-Broadway production of A Minor Incident.
- With Goffin, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Released her first-ever holiday album, A Holiday Carole, in November 2011.
- Published her memoir, A Natural Woman, in April 2012, and it made the New York Times best-sellers list.
- Is an advocate and cofounder of the White Cloud Council, an environmental conservation group.