Victor Silva was of Basque descent by mother's side.
Silva was born into an educated family who instilled in him a love of literature. In 1906 he was elected diputado (deputy) (a member of the lower house of Chile's bicameralCongress) of the provinces of Copiapó, Freirina and Chañaral. During his tenure as Deputy, Silva began publishing poetry in El Mercurio, a well-known newspaper centered in the Valparaiso region.
He was dubbed "el poeta nacional" ("the national poet") since he dedicated a good portion of his poetry to national topics, including his celebrated poem, La Bandera ("The Flag"), in which he exalts his patriotism. Silva entered the diplomatic corps in 1928 and was posted to Patagonia in Argentina, where he was a driving force behind the establishment of the province of Aisén. Later he was made general consul of Chile and was posted to Madrid where he remained for a number of years, finally returning to Chile in 1948. In 1954 Chile's national award for literature was bestowed upon him.
Commemorative plaque in Tongoy detailing Silva's life