Freda Josephine McDonald was born on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born to Carrie McDonald and Eddie Carson. Eddie soon abandoned them and her mother remarried to a man named Arthur Martin. The two of them eventually had a son and two more daughters. Josephine grew up dancing on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes, which led to her dancing career. When she was 15 she married a man, William Howard Baker, but left him after two years when she ran away from all of the racial discrimination. She moved to Paris, France where she became very famous. Her first job in Paris was in "La revue negre." Josephine was very famous for her "banana dance" which was performed at the Folies Bergere. Throughout her life she was married and divorced three more times. In 1921, she married Willie Baker whose last name she kept. Josephine was popular and loved in France but in the US she was accused of being communist and was no longer welcome in the United States. So, she married Jean Lion in 1937 where she got her french citizenship. Then in 1947, she married Jo Bouillon whom raised 12 adopted kids with her. She began to have financial difficulties in the late 60s, when this was happening Grace Kelly gave Josephine a home in Monaco and learned about her financial problems. In 1973, she married her final husband Robert Brady. She started performing again until April 10, 1975 when she went into a coma and two days later she passed away. Her funeral was in Paris although she was buried in Monaco.