Joe Armstrong was born in Fort Worth, raised in Abilene, and earned a B.A. in journalism at Trinity University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Armstrong was a publishing for more than 35 years and was the publisher of ten magazines, including New York, Rolling Stone, New West, Saveur, Worth and Civilization (the magazine of the Library of Congress); he has also been an adviser to the publishers of TIME, Random House, Doubleday, American Express Publishing, Hearst, Gannett, USA TODAY, John F. Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, George, and to Home Box Office Documentaries.
Now on unpaid sabbatical from ABC NEWS where he worked for three years with Peter Jennings and then two with Diane Sawyer, Armstrong is now a full-time volunteer for these projects: Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with life-threatening illnesses (10 years), the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, building houses in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity, working with parents of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown CT for mental health support programs, and he has made numerous trips to Cuba to take supplies to orphanages and to build a chapel.
In addition to being on the board of the Harry Ransom Center and the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas, Armstrong is actively involved with Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights working directly with Ethel Kennedy and her daughter, Kerry. For the past three years he has spent six months in Israel working at a Christian mission in Jerusalem and at the Jordan River Village Camp for sick children on the Sea of Galilee.