Joseph Lewis was an American freethinker and atheist activist, publisher, and litigator. During the mid-twentieth century, he was one of America’s most conspicuous public atheists, the other being Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. Born in Montgomery, Alabama to a Jewish family, he was forced by poverty to leave school at the age of nine to find employment. He read avidly, becoming self-educated. Lewis developed his ideas from reading, among others, Robert G. Ingersoll, whose published works made him aware of Thomas Paine. He later credited Paine’s Age of Reason with helping him leave theism.