Efraín Antonio Ríos García was born in the countryside of the town of Fredonia, Antioquia Department, Colombia on 4 April 1910. His legitimate siblings were Emilio, Eloisa, Carlina, Alfredo, Luisa, Francisco, Engracia and Victor. His father married for a second time with Carmen Ledesma, and they had three sons (Francisco, Carlos and Roberto). One of his favorite hobbies was horseback riding, and in his youth, he always had horseback rides on a farm, or on the shore near the Cauca River. His parents were highly appreciated and recognized people in the region. He began his studies at the Chamuscados school in Fredonia.
Ríos García married Herminia Uribe. The couple had 18 children: Javier, Lilliam, Irma, Hugo, Héctor, Irma Inés, Flor, Virgilio, Efraín, German, Luz, Nidia, Saul, Nelson, Martha, Flor, Alvaro and Ramiro.
His older brother, Francisco, passed away in 2011, aged 106. In April 2013 at the age of 103, he and his wife Herminia celebrated 80 years of marriage. His wife passed away in 2015. His daughter Liliam described him as a person who always practiced honesty, responsibility, dignity, authority, respect and love towards others.
As of April 2020, he had 80 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and 18 great-great-grandchildren. As of April 2023, ten of his 18 children were still alive.
Ríos García currently lives with his youngest son in Itagui, Antioquia Department, Colombia.