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Thomas Kono was born in Pakala, Kauai on February 28, 1920. His parents were Japanese immigrants who settled in Hawaii. His father was a chef and his mother was a domestic helper.
Kono attended the University of Hawaii where he later received his bachelor's degree. He was assigned to the 522nd A Battery in 1943 and was assigned to wire section-communications. His service in the military spanned for a three-year period.
Kono now resides in Los Angeles, CA with his wife. He has nine children and three grandchildren.