Josh Hamilton was born and raised on his family's ranch near Amarillo, Texas. His younger years were spent playing video games, hunting, snowboarding, and attending an elite Catholic prep school. Josh was known to his teachers as a bright but lazy student who was often disrespectful and uncooperative. His reputation among his peers as a comedian was a little more favorable.
Josh attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for a bachelor's degree in epidemiology. He then studied at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas for a master's degree in public health. He finished his education at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado with a doctoral degree in health economics. During college, Josh was well-liked by his professors, who variously described him as funny, intelligent, creative and outspoken. During his time in Boulder, Josh met his future wife Amy at a local Baptist church. The couple were married in 2016.
Josh began work for the United Nations in 2016 under the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand. The outbreak of the "zombie" pandemic in 2017 devastated the densely-populated countries of Asia, causing communications breakdowns and the loss of many UN offices. Surviving high-value scientists like Josh were evacuated by the US Navy to Singapore where they were reformed under the new Emergency Pandemic Center of the World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia.
One day, Josh was told he was being transferred to WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. No reason was given. That night, he was herded onto a full flight along with uniformed soldiers and many of his colleagues. He fell asleep a few hours later. In his dreams, he watched the lights of the dark plane piercing through the atmosphere from far above, like viewing from space. Suddenly, the plane melted into a violently expanding cloud of fire and debris. Josh Hamilton woke up alone on a beach. He was cold, wet and definitely not where he was supposed to be.