Balbus was born and raised in Aricia into a political family and was the son and heir of the elder Marcus Atius Balbus (148 BC – 87 BC). His mother was Pompeia the sister to consul Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo, father of Pompey Magnus, a member of the so-called, unofficial, First Triumvirate with Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus.
During the consulship of Julius Caesar in 59 BC, Balbus was appointed along with Pompey to a board of commissioners under a Julian Law to divide estates in Campania among the commoners. Cicero stated that Pompey would say as a joke about Balbus, that he was not a person of any importance.
- Atia Balba Prima was the mother of Quintus Pedius who served as a general and consul.
- Atia Balba Caesonia became the mother of Octavia Minor, who was the fourth wife of triumvir Mark Antony, and of the first Emperor Augustus.
- Atia Balba Tertia was the mother of Lucius Pinarius, a political supporter of Mark Antony.
The younger Balbus died in 51 BC.