Jorge Luis Batlle Ibañez was born on 25 October 1927. By 17, he already was working as a journalist for Radio Ariel, and later become its director. He joined the Colorado Party in 1945 when he was only 18. In 1956, he received a law degree from the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at the University of Montevideo. By 1945, he was working as a journalist with Diario Acción, which was put out of circulation by the military dictatorship in the early 1970s. In 1998, he was recognized as a "distinguished citizen" by the World Zionist Organization as part of Israel's fiftieth anniversary. He has represented his country at the United Nations (UN).
Batlle is married to Mercedes Menafra. He has two children and three grandchildren.