Jack Delano in his studio at Trjillo Alto, Puerto Rico, circa 1990s
Jack Delano was born Jacob Ovcharov in Voroshilovka, a small village in the old Russian empire. He emigrated with his parents and younger brother to the United States in 1923. According to Wikipedia, where you will find a comprehensive biography of him, he began studying photography along with graphic arts as well as the viola and composition at the Settlement Music School from 1924 to 1932.
He attended the Pennsylvaia Academy of the Fine Arts from 1928-1932, studying illustration and music, with the help of a scholarship. Another scholarship, The Cresson Traveling Scholarship helped him travel to Europe. That's when and where he bought his first camera.
After graduation, he became interested in Federal Art Program and proposed studying and photographing coal mining conditions in Pennsylvania's Schuylkill County. He later sent sample photos to Roy Stryker in the hope of being hired as part of the Farm Security Administration Photography Program.
Looks like Jack, on the road with Irene, a Rolleiflex-type camera hung from his neck.
Click on this link for a very informative oral history interview and detailed account of his life and work, with his wife Irene. She was a second cousin of the famous painter and former Farm Security photographer Ben Shahn.
Waiting room, Union Station, Chicago., 1943. One of Jack's most well known photos
Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940
Jack in later years which he also devoted to music composition in his adopted home in Puerto Rico
Books of Jack Delano's photos, which can be found at used book sources.