Born 17 July 1927 in Trnava where he matriculated in 1947 from the Commercial Academy. He then registered for the University of Economics in Bratislava but did not complete his studies. From 1949 he worked in the editorial offices of many non-literary magazines. At the end of the 1950's he became an editor and then from 1962 to 1966 the chief editor of the literary monthly Mladá tvorba. From 1966 to 1967 he was the co-founder and chief editor of the literary monthly Romboid. From 1967 to 1968 he was the chairman of the Slovak Writers' Union. After the creation of
a federative system in Czechoslovakia he became the minister of culture in the Slovak government in 1969. He left this position only in 1988. Then, until November 1989, he chaired the Union of Czechoslovak Writers in Prague. Válek died 27 January 1991 in Bratislava.