Joseph Ira Dassin (November 5, 1938 – August 20, 1980), more commonly known as Joe Dassin, was a French/American singer-songwriter. Joe was born in New York City to American film director Jules Dassin and Béatrice Launer (1913–1994), a New-York-born violinist, who after graduating from a Hebrew High School in the Bronx studied with the British violinist Harold Berkely at the Juilliard School of Music. His father was of Russian and Polish Jewish extraction, his maternal grandfather was an Austrian Jewish immigrant, who arrived in New York with his family at age 11.
He began his childhood first in New York City and Los Angeles. However, after his father fell victim to the Hollywood blacklist in 1950, 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 in that country. He was also a talented polyglot, recording songs in German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Greek, as well as French and English.
Dassin appeared as an actor in supporting roles in a number of movies, including Topkapi, directed by his father.
Dassin married Maryse (whose real first name is 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 actually divorced until 1977.
January 14, 1978, Joe married Christine Delvaux in Colignac (Var). They had two sons, Jonathan (born September 14, 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 Olam Mausoleum section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.