Joseph Walker, a Street Sense Media artist and vendor, died from a heart attack on Jan. 19. He was 57 years old.
He is survived by his sisters, Irene and Jacqueline Walker.
Walker was born on September 19, 1964, in Washington, D.C., and lived in the District all his life. His mother worked in the D.C. government and his father earned a living as a cab driver.
Jacqueline described her brother as a rather private, very smart person. He was fiercely independent and persevered through various difficulties in his life, including the experience of being homeless, she said.
He worked odd jobs over the years, but at every place he worked, he impressed the people there with his diligence, she said.
But it wasn’t until Walker joined Street Sense Media that he finally found his niche, Jacqueline said. He had become interested in writing later in life and kept journals. He loved Street Sense Media because it gave him the opportunity to write more, she said.
“It just opened up whole new horizons for him,” Jacqueline added.
Walker was an entrepreneur at heart. He always spoke about starting his own business and making it big someday, she said.
“I’ve been interested in investments since I was a kid,” Walker wrote in a 2017 essay for Street Sense.
In recent years, Walker acquired a strong interest in cryptocurrency and started investing in Bitcoin, Jacqueline said.
He immersed himself in research on the subject, and shared with his sister that he planned to create a YouTube channel focused on cryptocurrency, business and finance, she said.
In the same 2017 article for Street Sense, Walker described a keen interest in communicating his ideas about finance through videos.
“I recently made my own five-minute video about how I became homeless and what I invest in with my money today,” he said. “I would like to develop my own speaking gig so that I can talk to people about my ideas on surviving a financial crisis.”
“He just wanted to live his life to make him happy,” Jacqueline said.