Yaacov Gal was born on February 21, 1955 on Kibbutz Nir Am to Naftali and Zvia. When he was two years old his family moved to Beersheba and then to Tel Aviv. Yaacov began his education at the elementary school in Ramat Chen and then continued at the Ussiskin Elementary School in Ramat Hasharon. He then joined his parents who were sent on shlichoot to Chile but two years later he decided to return to Israel by himself and studied an additional two years at the Herzliya Gymnasia.
At the end of 1972 he rejoined his parents abroad, this time in Brazil, With the onset of the Yom Kippur War he returned to Israel. Yaacov was drafted into the IDF in November 1973 and volunteered to serve in the Paratroops. He served as an officer both in the Infantry-Paratroops and in the Paratroops. He was discharged in January 1978, after five years service, and studied at the Agricultural Faculty of the Hebrew University at Rehovot. In November 1978 he married Ayala, and the couple made their home in Rehovot.
After being called for reserve duty with his unit for the First Lebanese War, Yaacov was killed on June 23, 1982 in the Central Region of Lebanon He was buried in the Military Cemetery of Nir Zvi.