He was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 11th, 1907; the son of Lebanese immigrants Peter Joseph and Catherine Rizk.
On the night of the sinking Michael became separated from his mother and younger sister, who ended up in Collapsible C. Michael was bundled into Collapsible D. After the sinking Michael saw a great number of icebergs in the water, a scene that haunted him for the rest of his life. He was reunited with his mother on the Carpathia.
In the years after the disaster Michael lost both his parents so he went to live with an uncle.
Michael was dubbed 'Ty' by the nuns at his school who had learned of his close escape. He worked as a delivery boy for a soft drinks company for many years, married and raised a family.
Michael 'Ty' Joseph never liked to discuss the Titanic disaster, but would do so occasionally to his grandson Brian who, coincidentally, employed survivor Winifred Quick Van Tongerloo's daughter Jeanette Van Tongerloo Happel in his funeral director business.
Michael Joseph lived for the rest of his life in Detroit, Michigan. He died on May 18th, 1991. a week after his seventy-fourth birthday. On his gravestone is a small engraving of the Titanic.