Jack Delano American Photographer 1914 AD - 1997 AD Jack Delano (August 1, 1914 – August 12, 1997) was an American photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and a composer noted for his use of Puerto Rican folk material.
Delano was born as Jacob Ovcharov in Voroshilovka, 120 miles southwest of Kiev, Ukraine and moved, with his parents and younger brother, to the United States in 1923. Between 1924 and 1932 he studied graphic arts/photography and music (viola and composition) at the Settlement Music School and solfeggio with a professor from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After being awarded an art scholarship for his talents, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) where, from 1928 until 1932, he studied illustration and continued his musical training. While there, Delano was awarded the Kesson traveling fellowship which he took to Europe where he bought a camera that got him interested in photography. After graduating from the PAFA, Delano proposed a photographic project to the Federal Art Program: a study of mining conditions in the Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania anthracite coal area. Delano sent sample pictures to Roy Stryker and applied for a job at the Farm Security Administration Photography program FSA. Through the help of Edwin Rosskam and Marion Post Wolcott, Stryker offered Delano a job at $2,300/year. As a condition of the job, Delano had to have his own car and driver's license, both of which he acquired before moving to Washington, D.C. Chicago railyards, 1942. Photograph by Jack Delano.Before working at the FSA, Delano had done his own processing and developing but did neither at the FSA. Other photographers working for the FSA include Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks. In 1943 FSA was eliminated as "budget waste" and subsumed into the Office of War Information (OWI).