Born in Cordoba in December 1411, of unknown parentage, Juan de Mena was orphaned at an early age and brought up by relatives. He studied in Cordoba and Salamanca, and was known to have married twice, although the first was not documented, and he had no children from either marriage.
In 1443 he went to Rome with Cardinal Torquemada, later returning to Cordoba to take up a post as secretary in the court of Juan II.
He was a quiet individual, and much preferred to be at home studying than playing at the mock sword-fights so popular in his day.
His best known works were "The Labyrinth of Fortune", "The Coronation", and "Dark and Light".
He died in Torrelaguna in 1456