Michelantonio Celestino Onofrio Vaccaro (born December 20, 1922), better known as Tony Vaccaro or Michael A. 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.
Born 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 (b. October 14, 1874) was from Bonefro in the region of Molise in Italy. In 1926, the family moved back to Bonefro, where Tony spent his youth.
With the outbreak of World War II, Vaccaro moved back to the United States in order to escape the Fascist regime and military service in Italy. In the U.S., the seventeen-years old Vaccaro finished his education the high school in New Rochelle, New York. In 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 take photographs. By the end of the war in Europe, 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 obtained 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 (despite some 4,000 pictures having been lost in an accident in 1948) wartime archive were published in 2001 in his book Entering Germany: Photographs 1944-1949. In 1994, he was awarded the French Légion d'honneur at the celebrations of the fifty-year anniversary of the Normandy landings.
- Vaccaro, Tony. Luxembourg by Tony Vaccaro, 1944-1945. Luxembourg, 1995, Lions Club.
- TONY VACCARO: LA MIA ITALIA. Berlin, 1996. Galerie Bilderwelt.
- Tony Vaccaro: Deutschland 1945 - 1949. Berlin, 1999 Galerie Bilderwelt.
- Vaccaro, Tony: Entering Germany: Photographs 1944-1949, Taschen Verlag, 2001. ISBN 3-8228-5908-7.
- Shots of War - Vaccaro, Tony, Berlin, 2002, Galerie Bilderwelt,. EAN: 9783905597349
- Vaccaro, Tony: Frank Lloyd Wright, Kirchentellinsfurth, 2002, Kultur-unterm-Schirm.
- Tony Vaccaro : la mia Italia, fotografie 1945-1955. Padova, 2005, Associazione culturale "Balbino Del Nunzio di Padova" in collaborationn with Galerie Bilderwelt, Berlin.
- Gadsden, R.: Tony Vaccaro: The Formative Years, Praesens Verlag, Vienna; 2005. ISBN 3-7069-0345-8.
- The Globalist: Entering Germany, January 24, 2004. Accessed March 30, 2007.
- The Globalist: "Shooting" Germany: 1944-1949, January 24, 2004. Accessed March 30, 2007.
- Goepel, K.: Bild-Ikonen zum Kriegsende: Tony Vaccaro s Werk, Icons, AKG-Images, August 15, 2005. In German. Accessed March 30, 2007.
Shots of War - 1944-1945 - Tony Vaccaro, Galerie Bilderwelt,Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-905597-34-9
Lee Miller, Tony Vaccaro - Scatti di Guerra, Punctum Edizioni, Roma 2009 ISBN 97895410340
Des Plages du Débarquement à Berlin, 1944-1945: Photographies de Tony Vaccaro, Musée national de la coopération franco-américaine, Blérancourt
- Official website
- Tannenbaum, S. V.: PVT Henry Irving Tannenbaum – Some background on the family of the dead soldier pictured on one of Vaccaro's most famous photographs: White Death – Requiem for a dead soldier. (Photo shot on January 12, 1945, Battle of the Bulge.)
- Dolice. J.L.: Announcement of Vaccaro one-man exhibition of 50+ of his original vintage photographs of famous women held in March 2008 sponsored by The New Rochelle Council on The Arts, a Westchester County, New York, USA non-profit Community Arts Council.