Joseph Fafara was born in Roxborough, Philadelphia, in March of 1969. He grew up in Philadelphia and lived with his parents and brother in Marlboro. As a child, he enjoyed playing baseball, music, and the Civil War. He went to school at La Salle College High School, a private, Catholic, all-boys preparatory school in Philadelphia. After he graduated in 1987, he went to college at Temple University and graduated in 1992. He then went on to become a high school teacher for the School District of Philadelphia where he teaches U.S. history and U.S. government.
After meeting her at a wedding, Joseph married his wife Cathy in 1999. They had three daughters together named Jasmine, Abrielle, and Jordan. They now have two grandchildren, Alex and Alea, who live nearby and visit once a week. Joseph’s hobbies are similar to his hobbies as a child, as he watches baseball, listens to live music, and is still interested in the Civil War. He also enjoys playing the game Wordle and drinking craft beer. He and Cathy go on walks together on the Valley Green and Forbidden Drive trails in Philadelphia. They plan on retiring and moving to Nashville in two years.
He became interested in the Civil War when he read the Time-Life Civil War book series when he was in grade school. This series highlights the many battles and campaigns that took place during the war with each book focusing on a Civil War different topic. A childhood trip to the Gettysburg battlefield also piqued his interest. These things jump started a lifetime hobby and a career surrounding history. As well as the Civil War, Joseph is interested in history about U.S. presidents, the American Revolution, and Americans exploring the West.
Joseph joined the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table after he learned about the group in his time at Temple University. He is a member of many other history-related groups as well. The Surratt Society is a group dedicated to learning about the Lincoln assassination and the Surratt House. This group has monthly newsletters and plans tours to share information about the assassination and the events caused by it. The Blue and Gray Education Society raises money for the preservation of Civil War settings and plans tours surrounding early American history. The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides of Gettysburg has events in Gettysburg for its members as well as a newsletter. The National Civil War Museum gives members access to free admission, tours with the curator, and a quarterly newsletter. The Adams County Historical Society houses artifacts and records pertaining to Gettysburg and raises funds for a new museum called Beyond the Battle.