Dassin was born in New York , the son of Jules Dassinand Béatrice Launer, a Jewish film director, a successful violinist. He grew up in New York and Los Angeles. Jules Dassin was because of his ties to the Communist Party on a black list. This made him working in the United States impossible. This was the reason for Jules Dassin in 1950 with his family to Europe (England, France and Switzerland) to move.
After completing his studies at the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland Joe Dassin returned back to the United States in 1957 to meet the University of Michigan to studyEthnology . Joe was not only very intelligent and versatile, but like his mother, also quite musical. He played various instruments, such as piano, guitar and banjo, and was a great admirer of Georges Brassens. To earn some extra money while studying he sang on Saturday evenings with a French friend in cafes.
After earning his master's degree in June 1963 to Dassin moved back to France as a technician for his meanwhile very famous and successful father to go to work. He also appeared as an actor in several movies. In december 1963 he learned Maryse Massiera common during a party organised by Eddie Barclay. A week later Joe invited her to spend a weekend together and from then on they were inseparable. They married on 18 January 1966. In 1973 it looked as if the desire to have children of Joe and Maryse might be fulfilled, but after a difficult pregnancy was on september 12, 1973, two and a half month early, their son Joshua born weighing only 900 grams. He died five days later. Maryse wrote in her beautiful biography of Joe: "Joe had so much plans for his son. He had a huge sadness that led to a depression. " (Joe Dassin: inconnu et fascinant, Maryse Grimaldi and Jacques Plait, 2010; revised edition of Cher Joe, 1987). Despite all their efforts and various new projects, such as the building of their house in Feucherolles, their marriage ended in a divorce that was pronounced on May 5, 1977.
On 14 January 1978 married Joe in Cotignac with the seven year younger Christine Delvaux (1945-1995), whom he had met some time earlier. They had two sons, Jonathan (born 14 september 1978), and Julien (March 22, 1980). However, their relationship had gotten so bad that Joe shortly after the birth of Julien started divorce proceedings. After a bitter struggle got Joe in June 1980 the provisional custody of his children.The final judgment of divorce was scheduled for september 1980, but this did not take place by the death of Joe on August 20, 1980.
Maryse Massiera, Joes first wife, had a girlfriend, Catherine Regnier, which opened in 1964 for the French subsidiary of CBS worked. In the same year asked Maryse to Catherine sung by Joe song, Freight Train, to be put on a plate to give it to Joe for his birthday. CBS heard the plate and offered Joe to a contract immediately, that Joe signed on 26 december 1964 after some hesitation. This would be the beginning of a highly successful career that ended with his early death at age 41 on 20 August 1980.
After great successes as Les Dalton, Marie-Jeanne (originally written and sung by Bobby Gentry), Siffler sur la colline, Les Champs Elysées, L ' Amérique and Ça va pas changer le monde many more would follow.Joe Dassin spent most of his career more than 300 songs in French, English, German, Spanish, Greek and Russian, languages he spoke fluently. His main success was however l ' été indien, the biggest summer hit ever, which was released in May 1975 and all sales records of CBS would surpass.
Immediately after succeeded Joe Dassin again a contract with CBS to letting them draw, this time for a period of five years (1975-1980). This was his last contract that it mainly used up physically and mentally for the last two years. During his appearance on 12 July 1980 in the Port Canto in Cannes got Joe a heart infarction. He was taken to the American Hospital in Neuilly where he twelve days in the intensive careDepartment was nursed. To recover he traveled with his two sons Jonathan and Julien, his mother Bea and some friends on 16 August to Tahiti. There he received on August 20, 1980 during a lunch with his family and friends the last and fatal heart attacks.