Joseph “Joe” Jackson, the patriarch who launched the musical Jackson-family dynasty, died Wednesday at a Las Vegas hospital. He was 89 years old. Jackson was the father of and at times manager to pop stars’ Michael and Janet Jackson, along with the sibling singing group, The Jackson 5.

Jackson’s failing health was confirmed by his almost for-telling Twitter post on Sunday which read, “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.”


There was much more to the man than his management of his children’s careers, as he put his own aspirations on hold to care for his kids. With a large family to support after he and Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson had 10 kids, Joe surrendered his dreams of becoming a boxer and secured a job as a crane operator for US Steel. He had a band called The Falcons to make extra money, but soon learned that his children were where the real talent and money were at.

Joe Jackson took his sons Tito, Jackie and Jermaine, and later added Marlon and Michael to create The Jackson 5 in 1966. Two years later, they signed with Motown Records. Although Joe’s role within the group dwindled as they were eventually taken over by Motown CEO Berry Gordy, he nonetheless was the catalyst behind the infamous band as well as the point from which some of his children launched their careers.

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Most notably of the group, the success of The Jackson 5 led to Michael Jackson going solo, becoming such a major star that he was later dubbed the King of Pop. The youngest daughter Janet also became a hugely successful recording artist. While he was sometimes hard on his children and pushed them to be the best they could be, they benefited from it as Janet said, “My incredible father drove me to be the best I can. My siblings set an incredibly high standard, a high bar for artistic excellence.”

It was fitting that he left us with the words of wisdom found in his tweet above.

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