Moise Safra was born on April 5, 1934, into a family of affluent Jewish Bankers, in Aleppo, Syria. The family's history in banking originated with caravan trade between Alexandria and Constantinople during the Ottoman Empire. The family relocated to Beirut after the Second World War as Beirut was home to an already thriving Jewish community. Eventually, the Safras decided to move to Brazil in 1952. In 1955, Moise's 23-year-old brother, Edmond Safra, and their Father, Jacob Safra, started working in Brazil by financing letters of credit for trade in São Paulo.
He died on June 14, 2014, reportedly from heart failure at the age of 80.