"Joe Sixpack” (also “Joe Six-pack” or “Joe Six Pack") is a name for the average Joe—someone who works hard and enjoys a six-pack of beer. According to William Safire’s column in the New York (NY) Times on May 3, 1998:
“‘Herewith Joe Six-Pack’s birth certificate,’ writes Martin F. Nolan, the reporter and frequent writer on language at The Boston Globe. He attaches an article in that newspaper dated Aug. 28, 1970, about Joe Moakley, then a State Senator who was campaigning against Louise Day Hicks for the Congressional seat held by Speaker John McCormack.”
“Jane Sixpack” has been cited in print since at least 1984. “Johnny Sixpack” has been cited in print since at least 1976, but has been less frequently used.
Similar names for the average American include Joe Citizen/John Citizen/Jane Citizen, Joe Taxpayer/John Taxpayer/Jane Taxpayer, Joe Voter/John Voter/Jane Voter, John Q. Public/Jane Q. Public, Mr. and Mrs. America and Sally Soccer-mom.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Joe Sixpack n. orig. and chiefly U.S. a hypothetical average working or blue-collar person, esp. a man.
1972 N.Y. Times 6 Apr. 30/8 He carried the working-class suburbs of Cudahy and South Milwaukee, demonstrating an appeal to the voters some politicians call ‘Joe Six-pack’.
15 March 1971, Boston (MA) Herald Traveler, “Doris Day, Bacharach specials—class all the way” by Eleanor Roberts, pg. 25, col. 7:
JOE SIX-PACK and other other red-blooded male undoubtedly made the Rudolf Nurayev ballet a good excuse to repair the refrigerator for a can of beer.
15 March 1972, Boston (MA) Herald Traveler,"Busing Foes Cheered at Spirited Dorchester Rally” by Dennis Sullivan, pg. 18, col. 6:
She also called “suburbanites,” including, she said, Gov. Sargent, “limousine liberals,” who put the burden of racially balancing Massachusetts’ schools on “Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six-Pack in Dorchester.”
12 November 1976, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), sec. 1, pg. 18, col. 3:
Johnny Sixpack vs. Establishment
By JOSEPH KRAFT
20 November 1978, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Test of Guaranteed Annual Wage Flops” by Patrick J. Buchanan, sec. 1, pg. 12, col. 6:
But if Joseph Sixpack, bricklayer, runs through four wives and four divorces, the alimony and child support payments could put him on a peanut butter and jelly diet for life.
31 July 1984, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Rising debt threatens recovery,” pg. 11D, col. 1:
Not just the politicians in Washington, but everyone else—from General Motors Corp. and American Telephone & Telegraph Co. down to Joe and Jane Sixpack.
Google News Archive
7 June 1985, The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), “Letters in the Editor’s Mailbag,” pg, 12A, col. 3:
Average Taxpayers Joe and Jane Sixpack should be wary of signing on just yet, as this bird will never fly in the Reagan Greed Society.
(Donald D. Snyder, Sutherlin—ed.)
New York (NY) Times
On Language; The Return of Joe Six-Pack
By William Safire
Published: May 03, 1998
‘’Herewith Joe Six-Pack’s birth certificate,’’ writes Martin F. Nolan, the reporter and frequent writer on language at The Boston Globe. He attaches an article in that newspaper dated Aug. 28, 1970, about Joe Moakley, then a State Senator who was campaigning against Louise Day Hicks for the Congressional seat held by Speaker John McCormack.
‘’Moakley plans to make Mrs. Hicks the major issue in the campaign,’’ wrote Nolan, then at The Globe’s Washington bureau, ‘’talking about issues in the media and shouting in Joe Six-Pack’s ear to wake up and face the unsimplistic facts of life.’’ The headline over the Nolan story was ‘’After the Soul of Joe Six-Pack.
‘’The guy I heard it from,’’ writes Nolan, ‘’now long dead, threatened to sue if I quoted him. He must have known something. The initial mail in 1970 was all negative, accusing me of using Irish (and Polish!) ethnic stereotypes.
Why Joe and Jane Sixpack – and James Madison – Are Likely Pleased With Tuesday’s Results
November 11, 2012 by Matthew Dickinson