Joseph Steven Valenzuela: Who Is Ritchie Valens’ Father?

Joseph Steven gained prominence as the father of Ritchie Valens, the talented American musician known for his short yet impactful career. 

Ritchie’s untimely death left many in disbelief, occurring just eight months after his breakthrough in the music industry. 

Joseph was the driving force behind Ritchie’s musical journey. So in this article, we will explore Joseph’s early life, his famous son, their relationship, his career, his net worth, and more.

Quick Bio

Full NameJoseph Steven Valenzuela
Famous asRitchie Valens’ Father
Date of Birth25 Dec 1896
Place of BirthLos Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Date of Death8 Jan 1952
Place of DeathLos Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA
Age at the Time of Death55
Place of burialHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles, California
ProfessionFormer Soldier
SpouseConcepcion Valenzuela 
ChildrenRitchie Valens, Connie Lemos
ParentsMarciano Valenzuela and Maria Agripina Ponce
SiblingPhillip Valenzuela
Height5 feet 7 inches
Weight180 pounds
Eye ColorBrown
Hair ColorBlack
Net WorthN/A

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Early Life

Joseph Steven Ricardo Valenzuela was born in Los Angeles, California, on December 25, 1894. He was the son of Marciano Valenzuela and Maria Agripina Ponce. He grew up with his brother Phillip. 

Unfortunately, there is not much information available about Joseph’s early upbringing. The limited available data adds mystery to the early life of Joseph Steven Ricardo Valenzuela.

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Family

Joseph Steven Valenzuela was married to Concepcion Valenzuela. The couple got married on September 15, 1939. 

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Wife and Family

Together, they had a son named Ritchie Valens, whose incredible rise to fame marked him as a prominent figure in the early days of Rock ‘n’ Roll music. 

The Valenzuela family, including Joseph Steven and Concepcion, resided in the San Fernando area north of Los Angeles, playing significant roles in shaping Ritchie Valens’ life and career.

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Famous Son: Ritchie Valens

Richard Steven Valenzuela, famous as Ritchie Valens, was an American guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is considered a pioneer of rock and roll and a key figure in the Chicano rock movement. 

Born on May 13, 1941, in Los Angeles, California, Valens died tragically on February 3, 1959, at the young age of 17 in Clear Lake, Iowa. 

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Famous Son Ritchie Valens

His legacy remains everlasting through timeless hits like “La Bamba,” a chart-topping sensation in 1958, along with other notable tracks such as “Donna” and “Come On Let’s Go.” 

Despite his short career, Valens’ impact on the landscape of rock and roll remains unforgettable.

Ritchie Valens’s Tragic Death

Ritchie Valens died on February 3, 1959, in a plane crash in Iowa. This tragic event was named “The Day the Music Died.” 

The accident also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson. 

Valens, Holly, and Richardson were going to Fargo, North Dakota, for their next Winter Dance Party tour stop when the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. 

Severe weather conditions were the cause of this crash. This devastating incident left an unforgettable mark on rock and roll history.

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Military Experience

Joseph Steven Valenzuela registered for the World War I draft and later served in the United States military. 

Joseph also participated in the “Old Man’s Draft” for World War II, registering in April 1942, showcasing his commitment to his country’s defense.

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Life After Military

In April 1940, Joseph and his wife Concepcion resided in San Fernando, Los Angeles County, California. Their rented house at 11636 Dronfield cost them $8 monthly. 

Joseph had lived at this address since at least 1935. It was the only Hispanic residence in the neighborhood. He worked as a watchman at the sewer pumping station, earning $385 after 30 weeks of work in 1939. 

By April 1942, Joe had relocated to 125 Riverside in Elsinore, Riverside, California, and was employed by Dan Clark in Sedco, Riverside, California.

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Net Worth

The net worth of Joseph Steven Valenzuela remains unknown, as his salary and assets are not publicly available. However, his son, Ritchie Valens, had a net worth of $500 thousand at the time of his tragic passing.

Joseph Steven Valenzuela’s Death

On January 8, 1952, at the age of 55, Joseph passed away in Los Angeles County, California. 

At the time of his passing, he and Concepcion, were separated. He was laid to rest on January 12 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California.