Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada Bustamante was born in La Paz on 1 July 1930 to a very influential Bolivian family. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to the United States, where Sánchez de Lozada's father served as Bolivia's ambassador in Washington, D.C. He later became a political exile after a change of government in Bolivia. Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada completed most of his education in U.S. institutions. After studying in Iowa, he graduated with a bachelor of arts in English literature from the University of Chicago. He started a number of business enterprises during his youth. His business interests were mostly related to mining activity in Bolivia, a trade familiar to most Bolivian upper class families. He first entered Bolivian politics in 1979, when he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies representing the mining city of Cochabamba. He was reelected in 1982, after a period of authoritarian rule that suspended the legislature. In 1985, he was elected Senator and became president of that Chamber. In 1986, he joined the Víctor Paz Estenssoro government as minister of planning. Sánchez de Lozada championed the adoption of neoliberal reforms that helped the government drastically reduce the high inflation that had historically hindered the Bolivian economy.