Joe Jackson dies at 89

Amanda Cooper
June 27, 2018 - 1:00 pm

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The man who was the foundational driving force behind a family of music legends lost his battle with terminal cancer today. It is reported that Joe Jackson, the father of Michael and Janet Jackson died in an undisclosed hospital with family, including wife Katherine, and close friends by his side.

The 89-year-old music manager is best known for his forceful and aggressive parenting style that transformed the Jackson 5 into international superstars. In spite of the tremendous success, Joe Jackson’s image was tarnished due to the accusations from his son, Michael Jackson, about the physical and emotional abuse he and his brothers received from their father as children.  

Joe Jackson was born July 26, 1928, in Fountain Hill, Arkansas. He married Katherine Screws on November 5, 1949. In 1950 the young couple moved to Gary Indiana where they went on to have ten children; Maureen Reillette "Rebbie" Jackson, Sigmund Esco "Jackie" Jackson, Toriano Adaryll "Tito" Jackson, Jermaine La Jaune Jackson, La Toya Yvonne Jackson, Marlon David Jackson, Brandon Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson, Steven Randall "Randy" Jackson, Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Joe Jackson also has a daughter, Joh'Vonnie Jackson, who was born on August 30, 1974, during Jackson's 25-year-long affair with Cheryl Terrell. 
The talent manager’s unique gift to cultivate talent help shape the musical success of the Jackson 5 and the younger Jackson children.  In the late 1980s, Joseph's image as a father became tarnished as the media reported stories that he was abusive towards his children. Despite Michael Jackson’s allegations about the abuse, the iconic superstar still honored his father with an annual "Joseph Jackson Day" at Neverland Ranch and ultimately forgave him. Other siblings, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon, have denied that their father had been abusive. 

The musical contributions that he gave to the world will never be forgotten. In 2011, Jackson was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, and in 2015 he was also awarded The Rhythm & Blues Humanitarian Award. 

Joe Walter Jackson leaves behind ten children and 26 grandchildren.