Tony Vaccaro (#32999276)

Picture taken August, 2011
Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Greensburg, Pennsylvania
December 20, 1922
Hq & Hq Company
331st Infantry
83rd Infantry

Michael A. Vaccaro, better know as Tony Vaccaro, is an American photographer who is best known for his photos taken in Europe during 1944 and 1945 and in Germany immediately after World War II. After the war, he became a renowned fashion and lifestyle photographer for U.S. magazines.

Michael A. "Tony" Vaccaro is born on December 20, 1922 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania as the second child of three (and the only boy) of his parents, who were Italian immigrants, he was baptized Michelantonio Celestino Onofrio Vaccaro. His father Giuseppe Antonio Vaccaro (° October 14, 1874) was from Bonefro in the region of Molise in Italy. In 1926, the family moved back to Bonefro in Italy, where Tony spent his youth.

With the outbreak of World War II, Tony Vaccaro moved back to the United States in order to escape the Fascist regime and the military service in Italy. In the U.S., the seventeen-years old Vaccaro finished his education at the high school of New Rochelle, New York. On August 16, 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Europe in 1944.
Vaccaro fought in 1944 and 1945 as a private in the 83rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in Normandy and then in Germany. His task as a scout left him with enough free time during the day to shoot photos. By the end of the war in Europe, Tony Vaccaro had become an official photographer for the division’s newspaper.
In September 1945, he was discharged from the army. Vaccaro stayed in Germany, where he got a job first as a photographer for the U.S. authorities stationed at Frankfurt, and then with Weekend, the Sunday supplement of the U.S. Army newspaper Stars and Stripes.
Until 1949, Vaccaro photographed throughout Germany and Europe, documenting post-war life.
After his return to the U.S. in 1949, he worked for Life and Look before joining the magazine Flair. Photographs from his extensive wartime archive were published in his books:
"Entering Germany 1944-1949" and "Shots of War".

In 1994, he was awarded the French Légion d’honneur at the celebrations of the fifty-year anniversary of the Invasion in the Normandy.