Joseph is introduced as Jonathan's grandson having moved to New York with his grandmother Erina and seems to have naturally inherited the power of the Ripple (波紋, Hamon). When an old family friend Speedwagon is reported dead in Mexico, Joseph takes it upon himself to go check it out. His curiosity is piqued when he is attacked in New York City by Straizo, an old friend-turned-vampire. After being led on a wild chase in which his prepared attacks ultimately prove to be futile, he witnesses Straizo's suicide by the Ripple.
The Pillar Men
Joseph goes to Mexico in search of Speedwagon, revealed to be alive in a secret underground Nazi facility where the Nazis are trying to revive a man who seems to have been trapped in a stone pillar for 2,000 years. Here Joseph meets the Nazi Stroheim. Unfortunately, the Nazis are successful in awakening the man, who is christened "Santana" before he kills most of them. Joseph and Stroheim battle Santana and manage to defeat him, though Stroheim is fatally wounded. Joseph then heads to Rome, where three more "sleeping pillar men" have been discovered underneath the Colosseum. In Rome, Joseph meets Caesar, a trained Ripple user near his age who is supposed to show Joseph the ropes. At first, they are unable to do anything but argue; Caesar blames Jonathan Joestar for causing the death of his grandfather William Anthonio Zeppeli through his incompetence. Caesar brings a Nazi named Mark to drive them to the Colosseum, where they find the three pillar men, Wamuu, Esidisi, and Kars, awakened. Mark is casually killed by Wamuu, enraging Caesar and causing the pair to fight him. Unfortunately, even with his American Ripple-Infused Clackers, the untrained Joseph is unable to stand a chance. Luckily, he manages to talk them out of killing him promising to train for a whole month for a rematch.
To ensure that Joseph does not chicken out, Wamuu and Esidisi both end up inserting a "wedding ring" inside Joseph's heart and throat. They explain that the rings are internal time bombs set to release poison into his blood if he does not defeat them and retrieve the antidote they carry within a month. Joseph realizes that he will have to train or die, and Caesar introduces Joseph to his master Lisa Lisa, who also reveals that the motives of the pillar men are to seize the Red Stone of Aja to become perfect life forms.
Ripple TrainingAlong with Caesar, Joseph begins his training under Lisa Lisa. She immediately forces Joseph to use a modified mask to alter his breathing, enough for him to be able to keep it in control when using the ripple. She then puts both students in the 'Hell Climb Pillar', a pillar covered with oil that requires expert control of the Ripple to climb. Without experience in the use of the Ripple, Joseph has trouble to climb, but finally manages to do so thanks to Caesar´s help. In the next weeks Joseph trains under the harsh Loggins, who teaches him how to breathe in for 10 minutes straight and how to breathe 10 times in one second. As his last test test, Joseph needs to defeat Loggins in battle,Before the month is up, however, Esidisi finds out that Lisa Lisa has the Red Stone of Aja and comes to take it. After learning that Loggins has been killed, Joseph uses his new skills and clever strategy involving his wool hat to defeat Esidisi, thus earning the wrath of Wamuu and Kars (who had previously thought of him more as amusement rather than a threat). Joseph does not notice that Esidisi's brain had latched onto his back and the brain weaves itself into Suzi Q's body, mailing the Red Stone to Kars in Switzerland. By using their combined ripples to neutralize each other Joseph and Caesar force Esidisi out of Suzi Q's body, destroying him. 
Road to SwitzerlandWhile pursuing Kars and Wamuu, Joseph is reunited with the supposedly-deceased Stroheim, who has been rebuilt as a powerful cyborg by Nazi science. However, Stroheim's machine body is quickly cut in half by Kars' "Light Mode." In Switzerland, the group discovers the location of the remaining two pillar men. Knowing the remaining pillar men's vulnerability to sunlight, everyone is eager to face them during the day, sans Joseph. Caesar, unable to accept this, gets into a fight with Joseph and heads to battle Wamuu alone, coming remarkably close to defeating him if not for his own vengeance. Caesar is, however, able to rip off the latter's lip piercing, containing the antidote to Joseph's poison ring. Before dying from his wounds and being crushed by a stone slab, Caesar uses his final ripple to make a bubble out of his blood containing the antidote ring. Wamuu sees this but, respecting Caesar as a valiant warrior, allows the bubble to float to Joseph. Joseph and Lisa Lisa arrive too late and Joseph finds the bubble but vows not to drink the antidote until he has personally beaten Wamuu. vampires, threaten to destroy the stone if they are attacked. The Pillar Men agree to dispute it in one fair, final one-on-one showdown at the Skeleton Heel Stone arena. Joseph´s match is against Wamuu in a deadly Roman chariot race-battle. Wamuu initially gets the upper hand, but Joseph still manages to counter his dangerous attacks and destroys Wamuu´s body, leaving only his head slowly suffering with the Ripple. Joseph, in a sign of honor to the warrior, gave him some of his own blood to ease his pain.
Kars proves to be less honorable than Wamuu and breaks his promise to fight Lisa Lisa one-on-one and sacrifices one of his weaker vampires in order to defeat her. Angered by Kars' treachery, Joseph then challenges Kars, who looks upon him as a weak Ripple user and not even worth fighting seriously.
All seems to be over in this fight against Kars until a newly rebuilt Stroheim and his Nazi soldiers, Speedwagon, and Smokey arrive to help Joseph. Though it is revealed that Lisa Lisa is Joseph's biological mother, Joseph is constantly prevented from hearing about this. The ultraviolet light seems to have killed Kars and saved the world, but Kars had placed the stone mask on his face and fused it with the powers of the Red Stone of Aja to become an ultimate life form.
Joseph and company frantically try to devise strategies to defeat Kars and Joseph manages to crash Kars into a volcano with a plane. However, Kars is able to cover himself in an armor of bubbles to protect himself from the molten lava. Right when all hope appears lost, Joseph defends himself from Kars' enhanced Ripple with the
Red Stone of Aja, which causes the volcano to erupt and throws Joseph into the sea and Kars into space. Joseph apparently then dies with his strength exhausted.
The AftermathWeeks later, a funeral is held for the presumably-dead Joseph, but Joseph himself crashes the event and reveals that after he fell back down from the sky, he ended up in Italy where he was helped by some local fisherman and nursed back to health by Suzi Q and later marries her. Joseph then returned to America to find his friends bewildered and shocked; he comes to the realization that Suzi Q had evidently forgotten to telegram them reassuring his survival.
Years later, Joseph, at the age of 67, bumps into a Japanese man in an airport. Joseph promptly punishes the man and subsequently explains his hatred of Japanese due to one marrying his daughter. In contrast, Joseph is content with his Japanese-made Sony Walkman and after putting his headphones on, he boards a plane to Japan.
Stardust Crusaders (1987-88)
|“||Oh! My! God!||”|
—Joseph Joestar's catchphrase for the majority of Part III
Joseph's daughter, Holy had apparently called him to Japan to help her son Jotaro, who had landed himself in a holding cell and refused to leave - claiming to be possessed by an evil spirit. Joseph arrives at the compound and at first, demands Jotaro to leave his cell. The latter ignores the request and uses the evil spirit to tear the little finger off Joseph's prosthetic hand. With no other choice, Joseph, in conjunction with his Egyptian companion, Muhammad Avdol, force Jotaro to unleash his "Stand" and trick him out of his cell. Jotaro admits his loss, and the group returns home where Joseph explains the manifestation of their stands is due to the recent awakening of the Joestar Family's arch-nemesis, DIO.When Holy develops a Stand which starts to leech away at her life, Joseph spearheads the effort to help her. Utilizing Hermit Purple, he tries to discern DIO's location (believing that by killing Dio, Holy's stand would disappear) - and is successful, thanks to Jotaro's Star Platinum noticing a fly in the background of the resulting photograph. Joseph, Jotaro, Avdol and newly joined companion, Kakyoin soon leave for Egypt by plane. During the flight, the group is attacked by an enemy stand user whom is defeated fairly easily, but manages to kill the plane's pilots. Joseph is forced to take wheel (despite having crashed a plane twice before) and manages to successively land it 35 km off the coast of Hong Kong.
Arriving in Hong Kong, the group discussed their status over a meal. With Joseph's suggestion, the group decides to take a sea route through the Indian Sea that should get them to Egypt within 50 days. After inviting a random French tourist to their table, Joseph ordered the group some strange delicacies by mistake due to his inability to read Japanese Kanji. The french tourist, named Jean Pierre Polnareff, ends up impaling Joseph's prosthetic hand and quickly revealed himself to be one of DIO's men. At the Tiger Balm Garden, Avdol faced off against Polnareff's Stand, Silver Chariot. After defeating him, Avdol recognized Polnareff's chivalrous ways and chose not kill him. Jotaro then quickly removed Polnareff's flesh bud, just as he did with Kakyoin. At the dock, Polnareff asks Joseph about his prosthetic hand and decides to joins the group on their quest soon after.
The Joestar Group takes a private boat manned by men from the Speedwagon Foundation, however although Captain Tennille, who commands the ship, is discovered as an impostor and working for DIO, the impostor manages to sabotage the boat, forcing Joseph, his companions and the crew to evacuate. They then encounter a deserted ship on which they go aboard, but the ship begins to attack them all, disabling Joseph and the rest of the Joestar Group save Jotaro who defeats the user of the ship Stand, an orangutan.
The group is eventually rescued and arrives in Singapore, where they go rest at a luxurious hotel. In his room, Joseph receives a phone call from Polnareff who warns him about a Stand user which Avdol explains could be Rubber Soul, a mercenary working for DIO. Although Joseph tries to gather everyone to stay safe, the threat is dealt with before everyone can meet. Joseph takes the opportunity of using the television set in his room to gather more information about their enemies, he only manages to receives a warning against Kakyoin and briefly spies on DIO before DIO psychically spots him and shoos him away.
Terror In India
Joseph and his companions arrive in Calcutta, India, where Joseph discovers that his preconceptions are actually true, as he is swarmed by beggars and the dirty street are full of of the diseased and the homeless. Polnareff separates from the group in search for his sister's murderer. Joseph and Jotaro search for him across the town, but when they learn that Avdol was wounded, decides to keep his survival a secret in order to operate more freely. Joseph and Jotaro then stumble upon a fleeing Hol Horse, one of DIO's henchmen. Although Hol Horse is surrounded, the timely intervention of a girl named Nena who pins Polnareff down allows Hol Horse to escape. Joseph is splattered with a drop of Nena's blood on his arm during the struggle. However a strange swelling appears where his arm was splattered. In Varanashi, Joseph's swelling grew so much that he decides to have it treated. However the swelling is revealed to be the Stand Empress which grows into a miniature humanoid attached to its arm. Empress kills a doctor and makes Joseph appear as the culprit, forcing him to flee across the town. However Joseph manages to dispose of Empress with his Hermit Purple and kills Nena.  The Joestar Group then buy a car in order to travel to Pakistan. On their way, they are attacked by a car, revealed as the Stand Wheel of Fortune, but Jotaro manages to defeat the enemy Stand and its user.
In Pakistan, the Joestar Group enters a foggy village where everyone is unwelcoming and unsuspicious. Joseph, trying to jump on his car in order to drive away, finds himself falling on the spikes of a barrier and nearly impales himself. However Enya the Hag, disguising as a gentle hotel owner, welcomes the group in their hotel. Enya eventually reveals herself but is swiftly defeated. However Joseph decides to keep Enya in order to interrogate her later. The group eventually arrives in Karachi, where Steely Dan kills Enya before she can reveal anything and subdues Joseph by having his Stand Lovers infiltrate his brain. Thus Joseph perceives tenfold whatever pain Steely Dan feels, and the group cannot harm Steely Dan. Joseph flees alongside Polnareff and Kakyoin while Jotaro is humiliated by Steely Dan, but Kakyoin and Polnareff shrink their Stands in order to fight Lovers directly inside Joseph's brain while Hermit Purple allows them to see inside it. Lovers and Steely Dan are eventually defeated.
In Arabia, Joseph decides to cross the desert with camels. However their attempt to cross it is thwarted when they are attacked by the Sun Stand. Jotaro manages to make a shelter against the Sun, but everyone is trapped. Joseph, trying to find a solution, sees his companions laugh maniacally and thinks that they are suffering from dementia. It turns out that Joseph was the last to spot their enemy's ridiculous hiding spot. Arabia Fats is swiftly defeated.
Joseph and his companions stop by a village and buy a Cessna in order to fly across the desert, with a baby. However, Kakyoin has a nightmare in the middle of the flight and becomes so agitated Joseph crashes. Although everyone survives, they are stranded in the desert. Kakyoin, suspicious of the baby, is knocked down and everyone goes to sleep, where they are attacked by Death Thirteen. Fortunately, Kakyoin manages to defeat the Stand as he summoned Hierophant Green.
The Red Sea
Joseph and his companions reach the Red Sea, where they go meet Avdol's father, in fact Advol who was secretly disguised in order to buy a submarine. The Joestar Group now reunited use the submarine to cross the sea. They are attacked by High Priestess, and forced to evacuate the sinking submarine, but High Priestess fuses with the bedrock and transforms into a gigantic face which swallows everyone. However Jotaro destroys High Priestess and everyone reaches Egypt.
In Egypt, Joseph and the Joestar Group meets with men from the Speedwagon Foundation who provide supplies, give them the Stand user dog Iggy, and inform them of the Egypt 9 Glory Gods, nine other henchmen DIO kept up his sleeves. The first of the Egypt 9 Glory Gods, N'Doul, manages to injure Kakyoin and Avdol. However the combined efforts of Jotaro and Iggy manages to prevail.
Kakyoin is given to the care of local doctors, and although Jotaro is acting strange, nothing unusual happens.
Joseph is attacked by Mariah and her Stand Bastet and becomes magnetized alongside Avdol. Having every metallic object attracted to them is a huge handicap, but Joseph manages to surround Mariah with Avdol and uses her power to his advantage by having himself and Avdol collide with each other, crushing Mariah.
After receiving a call from the Speedwagon Foundation, Joseph informs everyone that Holy had only four or five days left to live. In order to speed things up, they then take a train from Luxor to Cairo.
(The information in this section derives from a Light Novel not written by Araki. As such, it may or may not be considered canon.)
Joseph appears in the Genesis of Universe novel in both chapters, where he is kept captive in Satanic Coupler with Avdol, but when he is rescued by the rest of the group, Joseph helps defeat the locomotive stand. He throws his metallic hand in Satanic Coupler's way, stopping it on its tracks. He also saves Jotaro from The Scribe Ani, damaging his stand, Ptah.
In Cairo, Joseph has taken a photograph of DIO's Mansion, but everyone he interrogates doesn't recognize it. One man named Daniel J. D'Arby lures the Joestar Group into a gambling session, where he steals Polnareff's soul. Determined to save Polnareff, Joseph challenges D'Arby to a game where each have to put coins into a glass nearly full of liquor and whoever makes the glass spill loses. Although Joseph tries to cheat, he is outsmarted by Daniel, and loses his souls. Fortunately, Jotaro manages to win everyone back.
During several days, Joseph's search continues, but it is Iggy who guides everyone toward DIO's Mansion.
Battle in DIO's Mansion
The Joestar Group is welcomed by Telence T. D'Arby, the butler of the mansion, who forcibly drags Jotaro, Joseph and Kakyoin into a void. The trio finds themselves on an island in the middle of the sea where Telence challenges them to video games. Kakyoin loses the game and his soul, but Jotaro and Joseph cheat together in order to win the second round. When Jotaro pummels Telence, Telence is propelled through the fake sky of the underground room.
Not out of the cellar yet, Joseph, Kakyoin and Jotaro notice that another battle is taking place as they try to escape.
Joseph, Jotaro and Kakyoin meet Nukesaku, a vampire, and bully him into indicating where DIO is. They decide to flank DIO from the outside of the building, breaking through a wall to enter a second time, and interrupt Polnareff and DIO's clash. Joseph alongside everyone follows Nukesaku to the room where DIO sleeps, but Nukesaku somehow is teleported inside a the coffin in the middle of the room, and Joseph, sniffing an ambush, flees through a window with the rest of the party. As the sun sets, Joseph decides that they flee because fighting the vampire without the slightest hint of his power is suicidal. He and Kakyoin flee first whereas Polnareff and Jotaro wait in ambush in order to follow DIO.
The Final Battle
DIO pursues Joseph and Kakyoin, who have bought a truck and are trying to drive away from him. At the same time, Kakyoin tries to attack DIO, without results, but notices that DIO's Stand The World is similar to Jotaro's. DIO sends a bystander crash into the truck, forcing Joseph to stop driving and instead hop across the roofs of Cairo.
However Kakyoin devises a plan to force DIO to use his power openly. DIO stops time, taking everyone by surprises and punches through Kakyoin. However Kakyoin manages to tip off Joseph about the true nature of The World. Joseph manages to decypher the cryptic message Kakyoin leaves in regards to DIO's power and even figures out some of The World's weaknesses, but DIO is too strong anyway.
Joseph is stabbed through the throat and taken out as he meets with Jotaro and warns him against The World. Later DIO sucks the entirety of Joseph's blood to power himself up, and Joseph seemingly dies, his specter talking one last time to Jotaro, who manages to kill DIO.
The Long Journey Ends
Jotaro and Polnareff's injuries were dealt with by the Speedwagon Foundation. Since DIO had taken much of Joseph's blood, Jotaro asked for a blood transfusion from DIO's body to Joseph's. After using Star Platinum to restart Joseph's heartbeat, the transfusion began. The shriveled-up body that Joseph had after losing so much blood began returning to his normal muscular figure and Joseph fully revived. Joseph uses the opportunity and plays a joke on Jotaro, claiming to be DIO possessing Joseph's body which nearly causes Jotaro to attack him. Luckily Joseph is spared a beating by claiming it was a joke.
Later, Jotaro and Joseph took the remainder DIO's body outside, where it evaporated with the rising sun. They then gave one final moment of thought for Kakyoin, Iggy, and Avdol.
At the airport, Joseph and Jotaro gave a final goodbye to Polnareff, who was finally ready to return to his home country of France. Joseph asks Polnareff to come with him to America, knowing that the latter had no one waiting for him back home. Polnareff refused the offer, stating that despite being alone, France was his homeland. The trio gave their final goodbyes and left, promising to see one another again someday. In Japan, Holy awoke fully healed and freed from the curse. Even miles away, she knew her son and father were coming home.
Post Stardust Crusaders
During the next 10 years Joseph became a shadow of his former self. He had Gallstone surgery, suffered cataracts, wore dentures, needed a cane to walk and had gone a little senile.
During this time he gained a great-granddaughter named Jolyne Cujoh, but it is unknown if they have interacted with each other.
He learns he has an illegitimate son and writes him in his will. Unfortunately for Joseph, Suzi Q hears about this and is angry. In an attempt to get a picture of him using Hermit Purple, he discovers an ominous figure in the photos instead and Jotaro decides to go to Morioh to investigate.
Diamond is Unbreakable (1999)
Jotaro travels to Morioh upon discovering that Joseph has an illegitimate son there named Josuke. Joseph ultimately also ends up traveling to Morioh to help localize Akira Otoishi, though he has aged, can no longer walk without a cane, wears spectacles, is hard of hearing, and isn't nearly as athletic as he used to be. He seems to have lost the use of his Ripple abilities, though this may be due to his age causing him to be incapable of sustaining the required breathing techniques for it. He is still able to use Hermit Purple, however. Joseph serves a supporting role as a result, and isn't involved in the majority of battles in this part.
At one point, he discovers an "invisible baby" which turns out to be the stand user of Achtung Baby. When the baby's carriage becomes invisible as well and rolls down a hill to land in a pool, Josuke panics about not being able to locate the baby in the water. Joseph, however, cuts himself to stain the water with his blood, thus allowing Josuke to find the baby. He says he did it because he wanted to make Josuke proud. By the end, Joseph adopts the baby and named her Shizuka - this, however, leads to further conflict with his wife Suzi Q, who believes the baby to be another "secret child."
Stone Ocean (2012)
In an interview with Eiichiro Funakoshi, Araki describes Joseph to be "likely still alive, albeit a little dumber." Though he does not appear in Part 6, this would put him in his 90's during its events.
His counterpart is not seen as of yet in JoJolion, however, on the Higashikata family tree, his name is seen as the father of Holy Joestar-Kira, and the son of George Joestar II. His name is also shown without a death year, showing that he might be alive as his original counterpart was in the same year as well.