Gala Dali (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova), the love of his life, was born in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. He father left them when she was little: here mother was left alone with 4 kids: two boys and two girls. In 1905 rumor had it that their father died poor somewhere in Siberia.
The family moved to Moscow where their mother met a rich lawyer and moved in with him. So the stepfather not only supported them financially, but raised them as his own children. The impact of her stepfather was so big, that Elena even took his name as a patronym (Elena Dmitrievna Diakonova). But now she is known as Elena Ivanovna Diakonova (her original name).