Somy Ali was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Her mother Tehmina is Iraqi, and her father Madan is Pakistani. After studying at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Karachi till age 12, she, her mother and brother moved to Florida. Inspired by a teenage crush on Bollywood actor Salman Khan, Ali convinced her mother to allow her to move to Mumbai, India at 16. In Mumbai, Ali was involved in modelling projects and also performed in Hindi movies. She appeared in 10 Hindi movies between 1991 and 1997, as a leading lady with top Bollywood actors. While in Mumbai, she was in a relationship with Bollywood’s leading actor for eight years Salman Khan. In December 1999, she returned to Florida to continue her studies.
She attended Nova Southeastern University in Florida, majoring in Psychology, and obtained her undergraduate degree in two years. During this time that she became very interested in journalism and decided to attend the University of Miami to obtain a master’s degree in broadcast journalism.