Frank Phidias Albright was born March 2, 1903 in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota to a family of German descent. He received his MA in 1936 and a PhD in classical archeology at Johns Hopkins in 1940. During that time he worked on a Greek archaeological expedition at Olynthus, worked at the Baltimore Museum of Art and supervised a WPA Artist project making scale architectural models of historic buildings in Baltimore.
In 1942, he enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps where he was assigned to teach meteorology and navigation, and work with photo intelligence and prisoner interrogations.1After VE Day, May 8, 1945, he was assigned to the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives branch where he directed the reopening of the Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg, and assisted with the return of Nazi looted art. He was among the officials photographed with Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Erminewhen it was handed over to the Polish Liaison Officer, Major Karol Estreicher, as the Polish owned artworks arrived in Krakow.
After being discharged in June of 1946, Albright began teaching at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Union College in New York, and in 1951 was made chief archaeologist with the American Foundation for the Study of Man in South Arabia.