Joe Marks was born August 2, 1937, in Watertown, Wisconsin, and raised on a dairy farm. He was an honors graduate of Mt. Horeb High School, and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1959. In 1967, he received a master's degree from Michigan State University.
In 1962, he was named assistant experiment station editor at Michigan State, and was later promoted to project leader and extension and research editor. In 1973, he moved to Missouri, and at the time of his ACE presidency, he was professor and news director for agricultural research and extension information. From 1978 to 1981, he was ACE Headquarters coordinator.
Marks spent 1992 in Perth, Australia as information advisor for the Australian Agricultural Protection Board (APB). He traveled throughout western Australia writing news and feature stories, doing still and video photography and making media contacts. He also taught communication techniques to APB officers.
His ACE awards include the Professional Award (1986), the Pioneer Award (1967), Agricultural Communications Award (1970), Award of Excellence (1979) and ACE Service Award (1981).
Marks passed away in January, 1999.