Alexander Galloway was born on 6 February 1876 in Glasgow, Scotland, the second of seven children of James and Janet Galloway, née Robertson.
In 1883, his family departed Scotland, arriving in Bundaberg, Queensland on 9 July 1883. In 1884, they moved to Wallsend, and Minmi.
Galloway worked in a drapery store in Greta before going to Outtrim, Victoria, a coal mining town, where he worked as a miner.
He moved back to the Hunter Valley and again worked as a draper, and then with a dentist before moving to Weston in 1905 where he launched his photography business. In 1906 he opened a branch at Kurri Kurri where he lived for 20 years.
He married Amy Lavinia Butler in Newcastle on 1905, and they had two sons, William (1906-1980) and Graham (1922-).
Galloway built the Royal Theatre at Kurri, and then set up more branches at the Cessnock and at the Rutherford military camp between 1914 and 1918. He also had a branch at Newcastle.