Joe Jackson, father of Michael and Janet Jackson, dead at 89

Author: CBS News
Photo: Georges Biard / CC BY-SA 3.0

Joe Jackson, father of the late Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson and the mastermind behind The Jackson 5, has died at 89. The legendary stage parent and music manager was reportedly battling terminal cancer. Carlos Keyes, representative for Jackson’s son, Tito Jackson, confirmed Joe Jackson’s death.

A Jackson family source told ET that the family’s patriarch was hospitalized on Friday in Las Vegas with terminal cancer. The source also said that he had been battling cancer for some time, with doctors telling the family that he had a limited amount of time left to live, and that the illness was untreatable.

On Sunday, his Twitter account posted a cryptic tweet that said, “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.”

However, Paris Jackson later tweeted that her grandfather did not post the tweet, saying, “My grandfather did not tweet this. I’m not sure if he’s ever used this account.”

Joe Jackson had been struggling with his health for the past several years. He was hospitalized in 2016 after a high fever, and in 2015, he was hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

Jackson engineered the careers of The Jackson 5 and then the solo careers of Michael and Janet Jackson. Though his children accused their controversial father of abuse, he was quoted as saying of Michael’s accusations, “I never beat him. I whipped him with a stick and a belt. I never beat him. You beat someone with a stick.” Jackson had a difficult relationship with his troubled son. People who knew Michael said that the two became closer after Michael became a father of three, but when the King of Pop died, he cut his father out of his will.

Grandson Taj Jackson, son of Tito Jackson, emphasized, “Joe was loved by our ENTIRE family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve without the nastiness.#ripthehawk,” in a tweet.

Grandon Randy Jackson Jr., son of Randy Jackson, tweeted, “RIP to the king that made everything possible!!! I love you grandpa.”

Joe Jackson is survived by his wife, Katherine Jackson, his ten living children and his grandchildren.

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