Freda Josephine McDonald was born in St. Louis, Missouri on June 3, 1906. She was a dancer and entertainer. Josephine ran away at thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville reviews and on the Broadway stage. She married Willie Baker when she was only fifteen, and took on his name as her stage moniker. In 1925 Josephine went to Paris and danced with La Revue Negre. Her acting, dancing and comic ability brought her rave attention and soon she was one of the most loved entertainers in Europe.
Josephine worked with the Red Cross, spied for the French Resistance, and entertained WWII tropes in Africa and the Middle East. After WWII, Josephine and her husband adopted twelve children from around the globe. She was known as a protector for brotherhood.
1951 saw Josephine back in New York, but she was refused serviced at the Stork Club. She yelled at columnist Walter Winchell for help, but Winchell ultimately accused Josephine of fascist and communist sympathies. During this period of her life, Josephine began to crusade for racial equality and would not sing or act in clubs that were not integrated.
In 1969 Josephine was evicted from her mansion and the subsequent auction was used to pay debts. To help, Princess Grace of Monaco deeded a villa over to Josephine and her 12 children. Josephine began her stage revival in 1973 to continue to pay off debts.
1975 Josephine performed at Carnegie Hall and in Paris venues. Unfortunately she died of a stroke two days after her Paris come back on April 12, 1975.