Joseph H. Laird graduated from Harvard University in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. During the war, Laird became a member of the Special Engineer Detachment, where he served as an industrial inspector at Tennessee Eastman Corporation in Oak Ridge. Laird traveled to Bikini Atoll to monitor radiation during the bomb tests. In 1954, Laird was ordained as an Episcopalian priest. He retired from full-time ministry in 1970 to pursue computer programming, until his retirement from Cigna in 1999. Joseph H. Laird died on April 1, 2012 in Philadelphia.