World War I soldier Joseph C. Sauer (1896-1918) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His family moved to the Lower East Side of New York City when he was an infant. Sauer graduated from the Redemptorist Parochial School and excelled in athletics, especially track. He worked for the Western Electric Company, and following the death of his grandfather, Sauer and his mother took over the family’s basket manufacturing business. He worked there until he entered the United States Army on September 28, 1917.