Yusuf Ali has spent his adult life working hard to be a father and a provider. Long before family life he was known as “Joe Cool,” respected by friends and colleagues for his boundless style.

Yusuf Ali, his son Noble and Attayah Ali Milton in the late 1980s. Photo courtesy of Attayah Ali Milton.

Yusuf and his family moved from town to town as he followed work selling office furniture. No matter where they lived, he was always imparting life lessons and wisdom to everyone he mentored, including his two children, Attayah and Noble.

Noble Ali, Yusuf Ali, Attayah Ali Milton and her children, November 2019. Photo courtesy of Attayah Ali Milton.

Yusuf came to StoryCorps with his daughter Attayah to record some of their memories and share a few laughs in celebration of Yusuf’s 70th birthday.

Top Photo: Attayah Ali Milton and Yusuf Ali at their StoryCorps interview in Philadelphia, PA on June 3, 2019. By Ava Ahmadbeigi for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired May 24, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition.