She emerged as the remarkable matriarch of the legendary Jackson family of entertainers. Her extraordinary journey began with humble roots, and her indomitable spirit and love for her children would lead to a musical legacy that continues to captivate the world.
Katherine’s early life was not without its challenges. Contracting polio at the tender age of two, she bravely faced its effects, leaving her with a noticeable limp. However, this did not dampen her dreams of becoming an actress or a country singer. Her aspirations led her to join the school band at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana, where she nurtured her musical talents.
In 1947, fate intervened when Katherine crossed paths with Joseph “Joe” Jackson, a resident of East Chicago. Their connection was instant, and after obtaining an annulment of his earlier marriage, Joe and Katherine tied the knot on November 5, 1949. They purchased a humble two-bedroom house on 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana, which would become the heart of the Jackson family.
Together, they raised ten children, including the iconic Michael and Janet Jackson. Katherine’s love and support were the backbone of the family, as she lovingly sewed their stage outfits and sang harmonies with them around the kitchen table. The Jackson 5, founded in 1964, became a sensation with Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael at its core. Katherine’s devotion to her children’s dreams was unwavering, and her tireless efforts behind the scenes propelled them to unparalleled success.
Despite facing personal challenges, including divorce proceedings and estrangement from her daughter La Toya, Katherine remained the steadfast rock of the family. Her autobiography, “My Family, The Jacksons,” offered insights into her life and relationship with her husband and children, with heartfelt salutes from eight of her children in the foreword.
In 2009, tragedy struck when her beloved son Michael passed away. Despite the heartache, Katherine continued to be a pillar of strength, taking care of Michael’s children and ensuring their well-being. The court named her as the permanent guardian, emphasizing her unwavering commitment to family.
Katherine’s guardianship faced temporary suspension amid financial disputes within the family, but she persevered, and her role as the children’s guardian was eventually reinstated, with her grandson TJ Jackson joining as co-guardian.
As a testament to her enduring influence on her children’s lives, both Michael and Janet dedicated albums to her. In 1985, Essence magazine honored her as “Mother of the Year,” acknowledging the positive impact she had on her children’s music careers.
Katherine’s legacy as a loving mother, a strong and nurturing presence, and a driving force behind the Jackson family’s success endures. She continues to reside in Calabasas, California, surrounded by her family, leaving behind a legacy of love, resilience, and music that will inspire generations to come. Her story is a testament to the power of family, the triumph of the human spirit, and the everlasting impact of her children’s remarkable talents on the world. As we celebrate Katherine Esther Jackson, we honor not only a matriarch but a true musical dynasty builder whose love and devotion continue to resonate through time.
109 facts about Katherine Jackson: Katherine Esther Jackson
Before marrying Joseph Jackson, Katherine worked as a store clerk at Sears.
Katherine Jackson encouraged Joseph Jackson’s early musical pursuits and even bought him a guitar to support his passion.
Katherine Jackson became a mother at the age of 20 when her first child, Rebbie, was born.
Katherine’s piano and clarinet skills came in handy when teaching her children about music and rhythm.
Katherine Jackson and her family were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, and she instilled her faith’s values in her children.
Katherine released a gospel album titled “I Can’t Keep It to Myself” in 1990, showcasing her own vocal talents.
Katherine first met Joseph Jackson when she was just 12 years old, and he was 17.
Katherine had a knack for organizing and managing her large household efficiently.
Katherine was also skilled at sewing, often making costumes and clothes for her children’s performances.