Born to Italian immigrant parents, January 1, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, Joseph DeCristoforo was raised in California and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley (BA, 1941) and Boalt Hall (JD, 1949). His education was interrupted by a two-year gig in the U.S. Army Air Corps; he went in as a private, but left as a captain. He was admitted to the California Bar in January 1950, and began his legal career as a research attorney at the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (1950-51; 1952-53), a position that was interrupted by a recall to duty during the Korean War. He was Deputy (and later) Chief Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County, from 1953 to 1958, and in private practice in Sacramento until appointed Judge of the Superior Court, Sacramento County, in 1968. DeCristoforo served in the superior court until he returned to the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in April 1989 as associate justice; he retired from the court in January 1991. Justice DeCristoforo died in Sacramento, February 23, 1992.