Chang Jo-ri's origins or ancestry is not mentioned in historical records. It can be inferred that Prime Minister Chang Jo-ri came from a notable noble family because he served in high government positions such as Daesaja and Daejubu.
Chang Jo-ri is first mentioned to have served as Daesaja of the South Province, and later as Daejubu. He rose to the position of Prime Minister in the year 294, succeeding Prime Minister 尙婁. 296年，鲜卑前燕高祖入侵高句丽. With this invasion, Chang Jo-ri urged the 烽上王 to assign Daehyeong general 高奴子 to the position of Castlelord of 新城. The Former Yan forces were defeated due to this assignment. When King Bongsang became corrupt and violent, Chang Jo-ri resigned from the position of Prime Minister and planned a coup to overthrow the tyrant and place 高乙弗, the King's nephew, on the throne. Chang Jo-ri staged the coup in the year 300, and overthrew King Bongsang, who committed suicide upon being banished.
Chang Jo-ri was reinstated to the position of Prime Minister under King Micheon. Samguk Sagi describes the benign rule of King Micheon, and his advisor Prime Minister Chang Jo-ri. The year of his death is unknown.
- 《三国史记 高句丽本纪》