Joseph Reeves Bolton III was born in Flushing on Sept. 8, 1910 to Joseph Bolton II and Florence Youngling Bolton. They moved to Ft. Washington Avenue in Manhattan. The elder Bolton was an advertising manager for Royal Typewriters and later in life the manager of the Empire State Building Observation Deck.
Young Joseph left at age 17 and moved to Newark to become a announcer for WOR Radio. He married Dorothy Bondy Harrington in 1935. His only son, Joseph Reeves Bolton IV, was born in 1937.