Joseph Walter Jackson is born on July 26, 1929 in Fountain Hill, Arkansas, as the eldest of six children to Samuel Jackson and Crystal Lee King. His parents separated when he was 12. He moved with his father to Oakland, California, where he lived until after turning 18 when he moved to East Chicago, Indiana, to live near his mother. While there, he met his future wife Katherine. She was born on May 4, 1930 as Kattie B. Screws (Katherine Esther Scruse) in Barbour County, Alabama. Katherine was the daughter of Martha (née Upshaw) and Prince Albert Screws (born October 16, 1907 and died January 21, 1997). The family name was changed to 'Scruse" by her father when she was four years old. On November 5, 1949 Joseph and Katherine married.
Joseph and Katherine shared the same goal in life: fame and fortune. And Joseph had his own band called The Falcons with his brother Luther and a friend. They rehearsed a lot, played R&B songs and they wrote their own songs. Katherine also dreamt of becoming an entertainer, the first black country music star. But this dream had to be passed on to her children, since Katherine suffered polio as very young child. Luckily she survived, but Katherine would have a limp for the rest of her life. Joseph and Katherine had 10 children together and now have many many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Their children are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine,La Toya, Marlon (twin brother Brandon passed way within 24 hours after birth), Michael, Randy and Janet.
Religion played a very important role in the way Joe and Katherine raised their children. Music was another significant aspect of their upbringing. Joseph, a fomer crane crane operator in Gary, Indiana and who’s family were still slaves when President Lincoln freed them in 1865, turned out be a very successful manager and producer for his sons. Jermaine, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Michael, who, in particular in the 70s, enjoyed considerable worldwide success as the “Jackson Five”. The foundation of the “Jackson Five” was the start of Joseph’s successful career as a producer. With this group, the Jackson children toured the world and had several top ten albums. As all his children showed considerable musical talent and some were already making their own way, Joseph could dedicate himself to his daughters La Toya and Janet, who are also now celebrated as stars throughout the world.
Joseph remains one of the most successful music producers to this day. He founded Hip Hop Boot Camp. The mission of the Hip Hop Boot Camp is to encourage the hip hop artists not to use vulgarity and violence in their music. And he recently founded a clothing line called Hayvenhurst Clothing. Joseph is CEO and Predisent is Eddie Earl. Katherine has always played an important role in her children’s life, as far as teaching and advising them on life’s issues.
Katherine has always had a special place in the hearts of all her (grand)children, as well as most of the Jackson fans. Katherine enjoyed her job as a parent to watch her children develop their own personalities. These days, both Katherine and Joseph are saddened about seeing certain people and the media attacking the personalities of their children, especially what Michael had to endure.
Joseph and Katherine are very supportive of the next generation of Jacksons that are arriving at the music scene. And they stood by Michael's side and accompanied him to the court room during the trial. Since Michael's death, Katherine is raising Michael's three children Prince, Paris and Blanket just as Michael wanted according to his will. Katherine wants to world to remember her son Michael for who he realy was and wants to thruth about his personality be told. Katherine published her memoirs about her family in the book The Jacksons: My Family in 1990 and Joseph published his memoirs in a book titled Die Jacksons in German in 2004. In 2010 Katherine published another book with exclusive family pictures and her memories of Michael in Never Can Say Goodbye: The Katherine Jackson Archives. If you are interested in the personal stories of Katherine and/or Joseph, you can read their biographies.
A Life in Pictures
|Never Can Say Goodbye:
Katherine Jackson Archives (2010)
Memoires and exclusive family
|Die Jacksons (2004)
Autobiography by Joseph Jackson
Re-published by Blanvalet (2009
|The Jacksons: My Family (2004)
Autobiography by Katherine Jackson