Margrit Egnér was born in Hamburg on 18 June 1922. She spent the first four years of her childhood in Brazil before returning to Germany. After marrying her husband, she lived in Sweden, moving to Switzerland after his death in 1972. She started studying Psychology at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Zurich in 1974, graduating with a licentiate degree in 1979. In 1981, Margit Egnér was awarded a PhD for her thesis on the subject of "Mood and Depression". She died on 18 August 2000 in Meilen, near Zurich.
Already as a student at the University of Zurich, Margrit Egnér was particularly interested in the anthropological angle of psychology. Her thesis for her licentiate was also devoted to this topic. In order to assure ongoing support and recognition for this aspect of psychology, which she considered to be central to the field, she set up the Dr. Margrit Egnér Foundation in 1983.