Toby Old was born in Stillwater, Minnesota in 1945. Although he fostered an artistic vision of the world from an early age, he started out majoring in biology at Hamline University, and then moved on to the University of Minnesota where he trained to be a dentist. At the height of the Vietnam War he was drafted into the Army Dental Core. While serving in North Carolina, he began to explore art history and photography. He then travelled for several months and returned to Minnesota to practice dentistry part-time and pursue his interest in photography.
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