A lifelong resident of Staten Island, Joseph Johnson Holzka (1927-1993) is remembered for his many contributions to the improvement of his birthplace. His work on the Staten Island Greenbelt and other public spaces such as Snug Harbor helped to create a living legacy of his commitment to municipal improvement.
Holzka was born on November 1, 1927 in Port Richmond to Evelyn Johnson and Joe Holzka, a native Islander and former president of Northfield Savings & Loan. He grew up on Palmer Avenue with his younger sister Barbara. After completing elementary school at P.S. 30, Holzka attended Port Richmond High School, graduating early at the age of 16. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1945 after a year at Dartmouth College. Upon completion of his term of service, Holzka enrolled at New York University, were he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1950, and a law degree two years later.