Valdas Adamkus was born on November 3, 1926 in Kaunas.
During World War II (July 1944), together with his parents he moved to Germany, but in a few months he returned to join "a group of the motherland defenders", that fought against Soviet troops. But soon Adamkus finally moved to German and in 1949 the former Lithuanian President Kazys Griniusa helped him to emigrate to the U.S. He got a job there. He worked in an automobile factory in Chicago, and later as a draftsman.