Wave Staff and Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family, died June 27 at the age of 89.
Jackson died at a hospice in Las Vegas, according to TMZ.com, which was first to report the news.
Family sources told the celebrity news website last week that Jackson had been battling cancer for some time, and that his wife, Katherine, had been at his bedside, as had some of his children and grandchildren.
Jackson battled a variety of illnesses in recent years, including suffering a stroke and three heart attacks in 2015, TMZ reported.
Jackson oversaw the rise of The Jackson 5. Formed in 1964, the group originally consisted of Jackson’s sons Jackie, Tito and Jermaine. Younger brothers Marlon and Michael joined the group later.
Michael eventually became a superstar as a solo artist, as did his sister, Janet Jackson.
Joe Jackson was lauded for managing the group’s emergence, but his reputation suffered in the 1980s as stories emerged about his allegedly controlling and abusive treatment of his children. Those allegations, some of which were made by Michael Jackson, were denied by Joe Jackson and the children’s mother, Katherine.
John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, released a statement in reaction to Joe Jackson’s death.
“We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family,” the statement read. “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.”
Branca and McClain also said they developed a warm relationship with Joe Jackson in recent years.
“Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous,” the statement read. “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 (Michael Jackson’s ranch in Santa Barbara County). We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”
The King of Pop himself died nine years ago Monday at age 50 of acute propofol intoxication.
As for Janet, she praised her father while accepting an award at Radio Disney Music Awards in Hollywood June 22.
“My father, my incredible father drove me to be the best I can,” Jackson said. “My siblings set an incredibly high standard, a high bar for artistic excellence.”
Among the figures to weigh in on Jackson’s death was civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton.
“Joe Jackson passed at 89 as the patriarch of a family that has mainstreamed our culture,” Sharpton tweeted. “He was never given the credit he deserved. He influenced the world of music with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and others. May history correct his legacy.”
Locally, civil rights leader Najee Ali led a group that placed a wreath on the star of The Jackson Five on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Without Mr. Jackson, there would be no Jackson Five,” Ali said in a statement. “His parenting of his children and the drive and discipline for them to succeed was the butt of jokes at times, but the facts are the children that he and his wife Katherine raised … went on to become the most successful entertainment family in history.”
“His son Michael launched his own solo career and was an immediate global superstar and became known as the ‘King of Pop.’ Daughter Janet launched a solo career of her own and became a pop superstar in her own right. We join the Jackson family in mourning the death of Mr. Jackson Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family.
Like the Jacksons, Ali is originally from Gary, Indiana, and he and the Jackson family bonded over that fact over the years.
Daughter La Toya Jackson also paid tribute to her father in a Twitter posting.
“I will always love you!” her tweet read. “You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world. I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared.”
The most recent tweet on Joe Jackson’s official Twitter page, posted June 24, shows a photograph of the patriarch silhouetted against a sunset, with the words, “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.”