Plaza was born in New York City in 1906 at the Marlton House during the exile of his father, the general and ex-president Leónidas Plaza. His mother was Avelina Lasso Ascásubi. He studied agriculture at the University of Maryland, economics at the University of California, Berkeley and at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He died in Quito January 28, 1987. As president he managed to foment the agricultural exports of Ecuador during his government, creating economic stability during his government. He founded Colegio Americano de Quito in 1940. During his presidency occurred the earthquake of Ambato, in which approximately eight thousand people died, and the damages affected the provinces of Tungurahua and Cotopaxi, especially in the city of Ambato and towns of Pelileo and Pillaro. In addition he was the first elected president in twenty-eight years to complete his term. Galo Plaza has been recognized for his performance as mediator for the UN in the conflicts in Lebanon (1958), the Congo (1960) and Cyprus (1964-1965). As Secretary General of the O.A.S. he obtained a reputation for leadership.