Joe Dassin Biography

Joseph Ira Dassin (November 5, 1938 – August 20, 1980), more commonly known as Joe Dassin, was an American/French/Jewish singer-songwriter. Joe was born in New York City to American film noir director Jules Dassin and Béatrice Launer, a Hungarian virtuoso violinist. He began his childhood first in New York City and Los Angeles. However, after his father became a victim of McCarthyism, he and his family moved from place to place across Europe.

After studying at the International School of Geneva and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, Dassin moved back to the United States to go to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After college, he moved back to France where, while working at a radio station, a record label convinced him to begin to record his songs.

By the early 1970s, Dassin's songs were on the top of the charts in France and he had become very well known. He was also a talented polyglot, recording songs in German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Greek, as well as French and English.

Dassin married Maryse (real first name: Yvette) Massiéra on January 18, 1966, in Paris. Their son, Joshua, was born two and a half months before term, September 12, 1973, and died 5 days after. Devastated, Joe and Maryse split, but weren't really divorced until 1977.

January 14, 1978, Joe married Christine Delvaux in Colignac (Var). They had two sons, Jonathan (born Sept.14th, 1978) and Julien (March 22, 1980). Christine died in December 1995.

Joe Dassin died of a heart attack during a vacation to Tahiti on August 20, 1980. His body is interred in the Beth Olen Mausoleum section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.
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