Beliau adalah pendiri Pondok Pesantren Denanyar, Jombang dan terkenal atas penguasaannya di bidang fikih agama Islam. Bisri Syansuri juga pernah aktif berpolitik, antara lain sempat sebagai anggota Komite Nasional Indonesia Pusat (KNIP) mewakili Masyumi, menjadi anggota Dewan Konstituante, ketua Majelis Syuro Partai Persatuan Pembangunan dan sebagai Rais Aam NU. Ia adalah kakek dari Abdurrahman Wahid, Presiden Republik Indonesia keempat.Kyai Haji Bisri (born in the village of Tayu, Pati, Central Java, 18 September 1886 died in Jombang, East Java, April 25, 1980 at age 93 years) a cleric and leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). His father and mother Syansuri named Mariah. Kiai Bisri was the third of five siblings who obtained his early education at several local schools, among others in KH Abdul Salam in Kajen.
He is the founder Denanyar boarding school in Jombang and renowned for his mastery in the field of Islamic jurisprudence. Bisri also been active in politics, among others, was a member of the Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) representing Masjumi, a member of the Constituent Assembly, the chairman of the Advisory Council of the United Development Party and as Rais Aam NU. He is the grandfather of Abdurrahman Wahid, the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia.