Russian and Romanian extraction. Family left Europe beginning of the 20th century, father's side migrating to England, mother's side to the U.S.
Joseph Louis Young was born on November 27, 1919 in Pittsburgh. Only child of Louis and Jennie (Eger) Young, who owned a business in Aliquippa, PA. Jennie Young was a talented painter and encouraged Young in his artistic talents.
In 1949 Young married Millicent Edith Goldstein, a classical concert pianist. The couple lived and worked in Boston, Mass prior to receiving fellowships and studying one year at the American Academy in Rome. They moved Los Angeles in 1952, where Young had a teaching fellowship at the Huntington Hartford Foundation in Pacific Palisades.
Joseph and Millicent Young had two daughters, Leslie (1955) and Cecily (1957). He and his wife resided in Los Angeles until his death in 2007, and her death in 2010.