Born in 1908, in the city of Recife, northeast of Brazil.
In 1929, graduated a physician at National Medical School, University of Brazil.
Physiology professor at the Medical School of Recife, in 1932; Human Geography college professor of at the Philosophy and Social Sciences School of Recife, from 1933 to 1935; Anthropology college professor at the Federal District University, from 1935 to 1938; Human Geography college professor at the National School of Philosophy of the University of Brazil, from 1940 until 1964.
In 1939 was invited by the Italian Government to participate in a series of conferences on "The Problems of Human Adaptation in the Tropics", at the Universities of Rome and Naples.
Invited by governments of different countries to study the problems of food and nutrition. Among them: Argentina (1942), United States (1943), Dominican Republic (1945), Mexico (1945) and France (1947).
Chairman of the Committee on Life Condition of the Working Class in Recife (first survey of this kind ever done in the country), in 1933.
Member of the "Inquiry Committee on the Status of Brazilian Population Nutrition", developed by the National Department of Health, 1936.
"Pandiá Calógeras Prize", 1937.
Creator, organizer and director of the Central Service for Food, later recreated as Social Security's Food Service(SAPS Serviço de Alimentação da Previdência Social), 1939 and 1941.
Chairman of the Brazilian Association for Food, from 1942 to 1944.
Creator and director of the Nutrition Institute of the University of Brazil, 1946.
"José Veríssimo Prize" of the Brazilian Literary Academy.
Brazilian delegate at the "United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture", summoned by FAO, in August 1947.
Member of FAO's "Permanent Consulting Committee on Nutrition", 1947.
Professor Honoris-Causa at the Santos Domingos University, Dominican Republic, 1945; at the San Marcos University, Lima, 1950; at the Engineering University, Lirna, 1965.
Chairman of the FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization - council at the United Nations, from 1952 to 1956.
Chairman of the World Association Against Hunger (ASCOFAM Associação Mundial de Luta Contra a Fome).
"Roosevelt Prize" of the American Academy of Political Sciences;
"Grand Medal of the City of Paris", 1953.
"International Peace Prize", 1954.
"Grand Cross of Medical Merits", Brazil.
"Official of the Legion of Honor", France, 1955.
Elected chairman of the Executive Committee for the Campaign Against Hunger of FAO, UN, 1960.
Legislator, representing the State of Pernambuco, from 1954 to 1962.
Brazilian Ambassador at the UN, in Geneva, from 1962 to 1964.
Resigned due to the March 31st 1964 military overthrow which revoked his political rights through the "Institutional Act #1", on April 9th.
Received the "Andrés Bello Order" from the government of Venezuela, 1968.
Member of different Associations and Scientific Societies in Brazil and abroad.
Founder and chairman of the International Center for Development (CID), Paris, from 1965 to 1973.
Founder and Chairman of the International Medical Association for Research and Conditions of Life and Health (AMIEV Associação Médica para o Estudo e Condições de Vida e Saúde), 1970. - Foreign Visiting Professor at the University Experimental Center of Vincennes, University of Paris, from 1968 to 1973.
Died on September 24 1973, in Paris, during his exile.
"I believe he was the one who said: 'There is hunger in Brazil'. He gave to hunger a political and scientific status whenever he tackled the subject."
"Allowing him to die in exile is a political debt that the military dictatorship will have to pay for."
"Geography of Hunger will remain as one of the great post-war books, specially for its methodology. The idea that great social problems - among them hunger - have to be mapped."
"I greatly admired Josué. I believe that he was the most intelligent and brilliant man I ever met."
"- the problem is that I felt envious - Josué was brilliant in all languages... He was incredible!"
"- but this whole thing of having the most prominent scholar of this country, the most important figure on the national scenario, the most talented... of all people, dying from yearning, wishing to come back..."
"He was just a Brazilian - a great Brazilian. A scientist, a writer, a public figure, devoted to his country, to his people..."
"... He knew about injustice, he knew our ailments, he knew about hunger... And boy! did he know about hunger!"
"One of the fundamental traits of Josué de Castro was his vision. Being a visionary is a virtue that can be acquired by intuition, but mostly comes from studying. It means trying to see what part of the present will be projected in to the future."