Senator Lopez was born on April 13, 1904 in Jaro, Iloilo to Benito Lopez and Presentacion Hofilena.
He studied at the San Juan de Letran College, where he finished high school in 1921, and at the University of Santo Tomas, where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1925 and passed the bar examinations. He did not go into private practice but instead helped his older brother Eugenio managed a chain of Lopez enterprises.
He was among the founders of Iloilo College and the FEATI University in Manila. The Lopezes owned the Iloilo, Negros Air Express Company (the first airline company and newspaper, the Iloilo Times (El Tiempo) and the Manila Chronicle.
Senator Lopez entered politics when he was picked by President Osmeña to be a mayor of Iloilo City in 1945. In 1947, he ran for Senator and won. In 1949, he became vice-president and concurrently as secretary of agriculture until 1953. In 1953, he was elected again as Senator and in also in the 1959 election. For the second time in 1965, he ran and won as vice-president and elected again as vice-president in 1969.
During his term as a Senator, he sponsored social and labor legislations, authored and co-authored more than 200 legislative measures. Many of which became laws, like the Public Land Act, Phil. Veterans Bank and the Veterans Federation of the Philippines. Senator Lopez was responsible for amending C.A. to allow the Voluntary retirement of government personnel after rendering 15 years of service and authorizing the Government Service Insurance System to pay in advance their gratuity benefits, as well as articles 340 and 341 of the Revised Penal code, to impose heavier penalties for the crimes of corruption of minors and trafficking in white slavery.
It was during his tenure as agriculture secretary that the so-called miracle rice and President Marcos activated the Rice and Corn Production Coordinating Council in 1966 and Senator Lopez was dubbed as “rice czar”.
He died on May 26, 1993 and leaving his wife Mariquit Javella with whom he had six children.