Sam Maeda is the oldest of three children. His family moved to Livingston, California when he was three months old. Growing up he was in the Boy Scouts and attended Livingston’s Methodist Church. In 1938 he married Yuri Fuji, who was from Berkeley. When war broke out they were sent to the Merced Assembly Center, and later to Granada War Relocation Center (Amache). They resettled in Livingston after the war, where he was an active member of the Rotary Club.