April 28, 1919, Lorain, Ohio.
May 10, 2008, Laclede Groves Senior Living Community, Webster Groves, Missouri.
Concordia Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
Son of a Lutheran pastor of Slovak descent, Vajda received musical training in childhood. He began translating classical Slovak poetry at age eighteen, much of it critically acclaimed and published in the U.S. and Europe. However, he did not write his first hymn until age 49. He went on to write 200 original and translated hymns, which appeared worldwide in more than 65 hymnals. He also published two collections of hymn texts, numerous books, translations and articles, and served on hymnal commissions for Hymnal Supplement (1969) and Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). He was a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and recipient of numerous honorary doctorates recognizing hymnic contributions. After 18 years in a mostly bilingual ministry, he was called to edit This Day Magazine, then became book editor and developer at Concordia Publishing House until his retirement in 1986.