His father, Nuh, was a Venetian convert to Islam who worked in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) as a doctor, and his mother Safiye was a Turk. His epithet Hekimoglu means "son of a physician" in Turkish.
Ali worked in various districts (and provinces) of the empire like Zile (in modern-day Tokat Province, Turkey), Yeniil (south of modern-day Sivas Province, Turkey), Adana Eyalet (in modern-day Turkey), Aleppo Eyalet (in modern-day Syria) as a provincial governor. He fought during Ottoman–Persian War (1722–27) and captured Tebriz. After the treaty of Hamedan in 1727, he worked in Shahrizor Eyalet (in modern-day Iraq) and Sivas. During the new war against Persia, he was appointed as the commander of the front (Turkish: serdar). He captured Urmia and Tebriz (second time).
He was the father-in-law of Hatibzade Yahya Pasha, who succeeded him as the Ottoman governor of Egypt the first time.
During his first term (12 March 1732 – 12 August 1735), he tried to reform the army by establishing a new artillery corps named Humbaraci (Howitzer). For this task he employed a French convert named Claude Alexandre de Bonneval (later known as Humbaraci Ahmed Pasha). He was suspicious of the embattled Russia and tried to end the war against Persia to free up resources, but his peace policy was met with criticism, and, during a council of war held in the palace, Sultan Mahmud I dismissed him.
After his first term, Ali Pasha continued as a provincial governor. He was appointed to Crete (in Greece), Bosnia, Egypt, and parts of Anatolia. In Bosnia, he defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Banja Luka during the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39) and supported the Grand Vizier Ivaz Mehmet Pasha in the siege of Belgrade (1739). In Egypt, he suppressed the uprising of the Mamluks, and his governorship was reported to be largely peaceful and free of insurrections.
During his second term (21 April 1742 – 23 September 1743), the most important problem was the new war against Persia, still led by Nadir Shah of the Afsharid dynasty. However, the Sultan refused Ali Pasha's campaign plan and dismissed him, accusing him of not taking appropriate measures in the Eastern front.
After his second term, he was appointed as provincial governor to Lesbos, Crete, Bosnia, Trikala (in Greece), Ochakiv (in Ukraine), Vidin (in Bulgaria), and Trabzon (in Anatolia) in rapid succession. In Trabzon, he was able to end the chaos created by the local leaders.
His third term was very short (15 February 1755 – 18 May 1755). The new sultan Osman III was under the influence of the palace courtesans. When Ali Pasha refused to obey the sultan's order to execute a young prince (Turkish: sehzade), the sultan jailed him. He barely escaped being executed by the intercession of the valide sultan (queen mother) Sehsuvar.
After being jailed in Kizkulesi (Maiden's Tower) in the Bosphorus, he was first exiled to Magusa (Famagusta), Cyprus, and then to the island of Rhodes. He was given a pardon in 1756 and appointed as the Ottoman provincial governor to Egypt for the second time. Once again, his governorship was reported to be peaceful. On 17 October 1757, for the fourth time, he was appointed the governor of Anatolia. On 13 August 1758, at the age of about 71, he died in Kutahya of a urinary tract infection.
He is buried in a small monumental tomb near the Hekimoglu Ali Pasa Mosque at the religious buildings complex that he endowed to be built in the Davutpasa neighborhood of Istanbul.