Joe Jackson, father and early manager of the Jacksons, has died at age 89 on Wednesday (June 27) morning after a battle with cancer, according to TMZ.
The Jackson family patriarch was born in 1928 and married wife Katherine in 1949. He went on to have 11 children.
As a manager, Jackson launched the career of son Michael Jackson — along with Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito — out of Gary, Ind., as the Jackson 5 in the 1960s. The Jackson 5 signed with Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, and in 1970, their first three singles (“I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “The Love You Save”) all went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Son Jermaine Jackson tweeted about his father’s health on June 21. “My father’s health is not good, but ‘dying’ is a harsh word chosen by headline writers, not me,” he wrote at the time. “For however long he has left, my mother, siblings, and relatives want to be with him, without hindrance.”
But on June 24, a more ominous update was posted on Joe Jackson’s Twitter page: “I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see. The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes.” Shortly after that tweet went out, Paris Jackson — Michael’s daughter — tweeted, “this is a beautiful tweet. though it upsets me to see whoever is in charge of this account taking advantage of it. my grandfather did not tweet this. i’m not sure if he’s ever used this account.”
Daughter Janet Jackson spoke of her father on June 22 in a speech at the Radio Disney Music Awards in Hollywood, where she was honored with the Impact Award, now known as the Janet Jackson Award.
“It’s beautiful, it’s humbling to be recognized as someone that has had a positive impact, but if I have been fortunate enough to impact others it is only because I, myself, have been greatly impacted by positive people in my life,” she said. “My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable. My father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can.”
Jackson suffered a stroke while visiting Brazil in 2015 and was again hospitalized after a car he was riding in was involved in an accident in Las Vegas in 2017.
Although Jackson was known for his iron-fisted management of his children, in 2002, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honored him as Best Entertainment Manager of All Time.
“I’m glad I was tough, because look what I came out with,” Jackson said in an interview in 2013. “I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right.”