Tom Lea was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1907. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago with muralist John Norton. He was a “Life” magazine artist-correspondent seeing action in the Pacific, where he landed with the first assault wave on Peleliu—an island in the Palau archipelago in Micronesia. He documented his combat experience in a book he wrote and illustrated in 1945 entitled “Peleliu Landing”. Many of his World War II paintings and illustrations are now part of the Army Art Collection. His painting, ‘Rio Grande,’ hung in President George W. Bush’s Oval Office.