He was born in 1927 at Malatya. His father was Mehmet and mother Hafiza. He finished his elementary school in Silifke, middle school in Mardin, high school in Kayseri and, in 1950, he was graduated from Istanbul Technical University Electrical Engineering. Between 1950-52 he worked in the E.I.E department and continued his studies in the United States on Electrical Energy and Engineering Management between 1952-53. After he came back to Turkey he worked in the E.I.E Department as technical deputy for general directorate until 1958, then in 1959 in the Planning Commission (DPT) as secretary, and in 1960 in the Planning Coordination department.
End of 1961 he went to his military service and after he finished his service, until 1966 he worked in the E.I.E. Department as deputy general manager.
He worked in the Prime Ministry Special Technical department until February 1967, then General Planning Organization until June 1971 as the director of different sections like Money Loan desk, European Union desk and Rejection desk, and then the World Bank until December 1973. From 1973 until December 1979 he was the chairman of several private Turkish companies. From December 1979 until 12th of September 1980 (until the military coup) he worked in the Prime Ministry as a deputy counselor and after the military intervention he became the state minister and deputy prime minister until July 1982.
On 20th of May 1983 he founded the Motherland Political Party (ANAP) and elected as its leader. After the elections his party won the elections and he formed the government and became the Prime Minister. After his Premiere between December 1983 and November 1989 he became the President and died in 1993 of a sudden heart attack while he was still on duty. He was buried with a state ceremony in Istanbul, next to the mausoleum of Adnan Menderes. Süleyman Demirel became the next President after his death.
Turgut Özal had three children from his wife Semra Özal; one of them went to the Parliament as well after the elections of 1999, but stayed out after the elections of 2002.