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Joseph Balkoski was born in Queens, New York, and holds an undergraduate degree from Vassar College and an M.A. in History from New York University. He served for many years as Historian for the Maryland National Guard and the U.S. Army’s 29th Infantry Division, stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA. He is the author of seven widely acclaimed books on D-Day and the 29th Division and was recently categorized by USA Today as “The top living D-Day historian.” Joe currently serves as the director of the Maryland Museum of Military History in Baltimore, managing its displays and vast collection of archival records from World War II. He has served as adjunct professor in both the History and Writing Departments at the University of Baltimore, and frequently conducts battlefield staff rides in the United States and Europe for current U.S. Army soldiers as part of their military training. In 2003, former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich appointed him a Commissioner on the Maryland Military Monuments Commission, and since then he has devoted much energy to the preservation of the state’s great military shrines. The following year he accompanied Governor Ehrlich and 29th Division veterans and current soldiers to Normandy for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

Joe also spent many years in the computer and board game industry, and is a member of the Wargame Design Hall of Fame. Among the historical simulations he designed or co-designed were Microsoft’s best-selling Rise of Nations, and Avalon Hill’s Great Campaigns of the Civil War. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently awarded him the Maryland Meritorious Service Medal for his devoted work in support of 29th Infantry Division soldiers and veterans. He is a member of the National Executive Committee of the 29th Division Association, which formulates and executes policy for all 29th Division veterans, and has attended the annual 29th Division reunion for almost thirty years. Joe is an accomplished musician and studies Anglo-American folk music dating back to the 18th century. He also coaches the local middle school’s girls softball team.

He has two daughters, Leah and Emma, and currently resides in Baltimore County, Maryland.