After serving in the US Navy during World War II, Valigursky returned home to begin his extensive education in art, illustration and advertising at the Art Institute of Chicago, the American Academy of Arts and the Art Institute of Pittsburg. He became an associate art director for Ziff-Davis publishing in 1952 and illustrated for the pulps Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures, then worked for If magazine the following year. During the 1950s and 1960s Valigursky created hundreds of paperback book covers, particularly for the science fiction line of Ace Books. Eventually he decided to do freelance work and remained doing so for the rest of his career.
Unfortunately, Valigursky did not sign many of his cover art paintings; so, fans did not know the identity of the creator of many of their favorite paperback covers during this period. Besides his technically excellent science fiction work depicting robots and machinery, Valigursky was also admired for his illustrations of aviation and space. He created works for the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard and has five paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon.