Born Joseph Saddler, he is the leader of the influential hip hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and one of the pioneers of hip hop DJing. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame by Jay Z in 2007, becoming the first hip hop act to be inducted.
He attended Samuel Gompers high school.
He is credited with the invention of the first crossfader, which he made by sourcing parts from a junkyard in the Bronx.
He resides in New York.
In 1990, he became the musical director for The Chris Rock show.