Dora Gordine was born in Latvia, which at that time was a province within the Russian Empire, of Jewish parents. Her exact date of birth she took care to keep secret and cultivated a mystique about her past. She grew up in Estonia where she trained as a sculptor, and lived both in Paris (1924-1929) and the Far East (1930-1935) before settling in London in the 1930s. In November 1936 she married the Hon. Richard Gilbert Hare (5 September 1907 – 1966), son of Richard Granville Hare, 4th Earl of Listowel and Freda Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone. They created and lived at Dorich House, London. She also created studio houses in Paris, Singapore, and Highgate, London.
Her career as a sculptor was somewhat diminished by the outbreak of the Second World War. Richard Winstedt, then Director of the Royal Asiatic Society asked her to give a series of lectures at the Society between 1940 and 1944 on Asian Sculptures. She also contributed a series of Articles to the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society between 1943 and 1947. This patronage also opened up other lecturing opportunities.
During the 1940s/50s Gordine's work was exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, the Society of Portrait Sculptors and elsewhere. Bronzes from this time have ironic or humorous titles, relating to the pose, such as 'Great Expectations' or 'Mischief' and, of an RAF Officer, 'Above Cloud'. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1949. In 1948 she was commissioned to produce a sculpture to stand in the new mother and baby unit at Holloway Prison in north London.
Her husband, Richard Hare died suddenly of a heart attack in 1966. Gordine continued to live and work at Dorich House until her death in December 1991.