Brandino was the son of Sicilian immigrants Santo ("Sam") and Janie Brandino and grew up in Woodlawn. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served as a medic. After the war, he worked on the Vaudeville circuit as a stage magician before settling down with his wife, Marie, and being introduced to the hardware business by his father-in-law. He started his own company in 1948, selling cabinet knobs and spice racks from the back of a station wagon. The business grew quickly and he recruited his brother, Paul from Chicago to help run it.
- "Tony Brandino" obituary (May 14, 2012) The Birmingham News