Alex Benaya was born on March 1, 1926 in Warsaw, Poland to Mordechai and Bella. His parents were educators and veteran Zioinsts before making aliya in 1934. His father was among the founders and principals of the 'Culture' schools in Bialystock.
Alex studied in Nahariya and Yagur. He joined the Palmach at the age of 17 and during the War of Independence he was a brigade commander. As a career Army officer he served in many posts until his discharge in 1957 when he became a member of Moshav Orot. In 1960 he worked for the Defense Ministry in Beersheva. In 1963 he rejoined the Army and served as head of the IDF staff in Tanzania.
On June 7, 1967, the third day of the Six Day War, he was killed in the fighting for El Arish. He was first buried in the temporary cemetery at Be'eri and then reinterred in the military cemetery in Beersheva. He left behind a wife and five children.