Golden Gate Wing Guest Speaker Archive

Presentation Date: May 22, 2014

Tom Graves, Professional Photographer

Tom Graves was born in March 1954 in Princeton, New Jersey. His father Clay was a federal government employee; his mother Jeanne ran an animal shelter. He has one older sister.

Tom attended Princeton High School and graduated in 1972. At Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he majored in economics and political science.

He first became interested in photography at age 10 when a friend showed him how to develop and print film – “and I was hooked!”

Tom is now a San Francisco photographer and writer with over 30 years’ professional experience. Photography has taken him to five continents and to all 50 states for clients including AT&T, Cisco, IBM, Merrill Lynch, The New York Times, People, and Time magazine.

Since beginning his “Heroes” series on July 4th, 2001, Tom has interviewed nearly 300 veterans of WWII and Korea. The veterans’ portraits have been exhibited at:

− American Legion National Convention

− Fort Knox, Kentucky

− Legion of Valor Museum at Fresno, California

− Manzanar National Historic Site near Lone Pine, California

− National Japanese American Historical Society

− National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California

− San Francisco City Hall

− The Presidio of San Francisco’s Building 640 Historic Learning Center

− USS Hornet Museum in Alameda. California

− Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri

His new book, Twice Heroes: America’s Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea, won the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award in History.

Tom is a member of the USMC Combat Correspondents Association.

His websites are and

Tom and his wife Becky reside in San Francisco.