Joe Jackson, who managed his children to become international music stars, died Wednesday morning. He was 89.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg told The Associated Press Jackson passed away at a hospice facility in Las Vegas.
The Jackson family patriarch was reportedly battling terminal cancer and had been hospitalized in the days before his death.
Joe was best known for turning his talented sons into the Jackson 5, and later making international solo stars out of his children Michael and Janet.
Michael preceded his father in death at age 50 in 2009. On Wednesday, his estate praised Joe as “a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections.”
“We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson in a statement to the media. “Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to worldwide pop superstardom.”
The statement went on to acknowledge Joe’s many accomplishments.
“Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous,” the statement continued. “They were acknowledged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 in a proclamation naming him as Best Entertainment Manager of All Time; he was inducted into Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2014 and his son Michael acknowledged him with a Joe Jackson Day at Neverland. We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”
On Friday night at the Radio Disney Music Awards in Hollywood, Janet praised her father after news broke that he was ill.
“If I have been fortunate enough to impact others, it’s only because I, myself have been greatly impacted by positive people in my life,” she said to applause. “My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable, my father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best I can.”
Joe Jackson was born in Fountain Hill, Arkansas in 1928.
He married Katherine Scruse in 1949, and they had 10 children together – Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Brandon (Marlon’s twin who died shortly after birth), Michael, Randy, La Toya and Janet. Joe had another daughter, Joh’Vonnie Jackson, with Cheryl Terrell as a result of their reported 25-year affair.
After the Jackson 5 signed with Motown in 1969, Joe took his family from poverty in Gary, Indiana to riches. The group was made up of his five boys – Michael, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie.
Joe was known for being tough on his children, and forcing them to endure grueling practice sessions.
After impressive performances in talent competitions, Joe booked the group at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, which led a coveted record deal.
Joe eventually moved the family to California, and he started Ivory Tower International Records.
Once Michael went solo, he became one of the top-selling performers of all time.