History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - People - Bios

Joseph E. Amato
a.k.a. Josie Blake


Primary Involvements:




as entertainer Josie Blake


Joseph E. Amato was known to many in the gay community as entertainer Josie Blake. Born in Chicago, he moved as a child to Wonder Lake, Illinois, south of Lake Geneva.

Amato was a special education teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools and later in the Fox Point-Bayside distrcit. He also was esatern district director and festival coordinator of Very Special Arts Wisconsin, an arts program for disabled people.

As Josie Blake, Amato was known as "Milwaukee's Liza" and had performed at many Milwaukee nightclubs including M&M Club, La Cage, and Club 219.

Joseph died on August 17, 1987 at the age of 32- of pneumonia, reportedly associated with AIDS. He was survived by mother and stepfather, his father and stepmother, five sisters and a grandfather.


In Memorium
(In Step, volume 4 no. 15)

Credits: articles from In Step;
Last updated: 12-December-2005.