Goodman graduated from Radcliffe College in 1963 and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University for the following year. She has been an associate editor and a columnist at the Boston Globe since 1967. The Washington Post Writers Group syndicated the column in 1976. Her book on social change, Turning Points, appeared in 1979. In addition, five collections of her columns have been published. Goodman won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary in 1980. In 1996 Goodman was a visiting professor at Standford University. Goodman's book, I Know Just What You Mean—The Power of Friendship in Women's Lives, written with Patricia O'Brien, was published in 2000.