Joseph Kowalsky was born and raised in the Detroit area. Both of his parents are teachers, a fact he feels encouraged his own lifelong love of learning.
He recalls that he first became aware of cryonics when a seventh grade science teacher brought some cryonics material to class. Joe was hooked: for the next fifteen years Joe kept abreast of the movement, eventually becoming an Associate member of the Immortalist Society. He still remembers attending meetings at Dave and Connie Ettinger's house and speaking to Bob Ettinger, a man he looked up to as a hero.
Joe went to Wayne State University on a full merit scholarship. During this time he worked part time in a Detroit pawnshop, and then became founder and President of a small long distance phone company. He spent one semester as a visiting student at Columbia University, and graduated (magna cum laude) with a BA in economics. He then went to the University of Michigan Law School, and graduated in 1991, subsequently moving to the Washington, D.C. area, where he became a member of the Maryland and Washington D.C. Bar Associations.
Joe spent the next year in working first for Senator Carl Levin, then working on Paul Tsongas' presidential campaign, and finally on the Clinton Presidential Transition Team. Afterwards he spent two months in Australia and New Zealand, doing volunteer work.
Returning to Michigan, he worked on the Senate Primary Campaign of former Congressman Bill Brodhead, and then on the Senate campaign of Senator Spencer Abraham. With the assistance and encouragement of Congressman Brodhead, he formed his own law practice in 1994 in the Detroit area, and did a good deal more pro-bono work than he would recommend to anyone else. After a few years, he set up the non-profit corporation Tomorrow, Inc., to do pro-bono legal work.
In 1999 he left the law field to become a Financial Consultant, following an interest that he had had since age 15.
While assisting CI in legal work related to a suspension when Joe was a practicing attorney, he decided to finally "get his paper work in order," as Bob Ettinger said, joining CI, and being elected Director in short order. Joe was Vice President from 2001 to 2003.