Born and raised in Brooklyn, St. Johns University for two years, majoring in communications. He then taught himself to cook and opened his Soup As Art restaurant, also in Brooklyn.

Italian-American.

In Season 6 of The Sopranos (1999), his character, Vito Spatafore, is shown limping and repeatedly talks about how he is going to have hip surgery. In real life, Joe had double-hip replacement surgery shortly after the end of the sixth season.