How Joe Jackson pushed his children into stardom and terrified them
He was both manager and father to one of the most famous musical acts in the world, a disciplinarian whose unwavering demands molded his sons and daughters into pop legends. Joe Jackson, who died today at the age of 89, became a music industry legend for his strictness ' and also for his success.
Under the patriarch's tutelage, the Jackson 5 took the planet by storm, and son Michael and daughter Janet emerged as runaway stars. It all wasn't smooth sailing, however, as some children accused him of abuse, the family suffered estrangements and, most damningly, it was discovered that Jackson fathered a child with his mistress, with whom he had a 25-year affair.
Jackson was born on July 26, 1928 to a high school teacher father and homemaker mother in Arkansas. He was the oldest of five children, but his parents split up when he was 12; his father headed to California, taking Joe with him, and his mother settled in East Chicago, Indiana ' where Joe would relocate when he turned 18.
A high school dropout, Joe got a job at a steel company but dreamed of being a boxer ' and began training for it. He was briefly married but quickly had that union annulled after meeting a 17-year-old named Katherine Scruse, whom he then wed on November 5, 1949. They moved to the industrial city of Gary, Indiana, and their first child, Maureen Reilette 'Rebbie' Jackson, was born on May 29, 1950.
Joe Jackson, pictured in 2010, died early on Wednesday at the age of 89; he was legendary within the music industry for pushing his children into superstardom after molding them into a band while the family lived in Gary, Indiana - where Jackson worked in a steel mill before quitting to manage his children
The Jackson 5 and their parents pose in 1971 on a staircase, surrounded by commemorative plaques and music awards, at their home in Encino, California; pictured from top left down are Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, father Joe and mother Katherine....
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