Joe Dassin është këngëtar i huaj i njohur. Dassin was born in New York City to American film director Jules Dassin (1911–2008) and Béatrice Launer (1913–1994), a New York-born violinist, who after graduating from a Hebrew High School in the Bronx studied with the British violinist Harold Berkely at the Juilliard School of Music. His father was of Ukrainian and Polish-Jewish extraction, his maternal grandfather was an Austrian-Jewish immigrant, who arrived in New York with his family at age 11. He began his childhood first in New York City and Los Angeles. However, after his father fell victim to the Hollywood blacklist in 1950, he and his family moved from place to place across Europe. Dassin studied at the International School of Geneva and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, and graduated in Grenoble. Dassin moved back to the United States, where he attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1957 to 1963, winning an undergraduate Hopwood Award for fiction in 1958 and earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1961 and a Master of Arts in 1963, both in Anthropology.