In October, 1941, Odessa was occupied by the German-Romanian forces. As a Jew, Joseph and his family were sent to jail, then the ghetto, and finally to concentration camps. He lost many relatives including his youngest brother in these ordeals. In March, 1944, they were liberated by the Soviet Army and he returned to Odessa with his parents and younger brother.
In 1958, Joseph graduated from Odessa Polytechnic University and worked as an Engineer-Designer at different design companies. In 1973, he got his PhD from R&D Institute in Moscow and continued to work at that Institute until immigrating to the United States in 1987.
Upon his arrival to the United States, Joseph began working as a Math teacher in public schools and then later as a college professor until he retired in 2005. He was published in Who's Who in the World in the Millennium 2000 edition.
Mr. Vergilis lives in New York and has 6 grandchildren.