Joseph Walter “Joe” Jackson died Wednesday. Eighty-nine, but referred to this as his 90th year, Jackson was born in late July in 1928 in Fountain Hill Arkansas. A boxer and crane operator at US Steel in Gary, Indiana, he married Katherine Scruse in 1949 and the couple started a family.
Joe was musical and formed a duo with his brother Luther called ‘The Ford Falcons,’ but gave it up after not getting a record deal. So back he went to the steel plant full time to support his growing family.
Then he discovered that three of his sons, Sigmund Esco “Jackie” Jackson, Toriano Adaryll “Tito” Jackson, and Jermaine La Jaune Jackson had “talent” his bio reads on his website. And that was the beginning of what would become a musical empire Joe Jackson orchestrated and conducted.
Never shy, Jackson had a robust social media presence. Joe Jackson lived every day and urged others to do the same.
“It’s life that writes the best stories. Live.”
This is his last Twitter post, from June 24.
On Instagram, Joe Jackson Went by the Name, TheHawkJ5
Joseph “Joe” Jackson, Father of the Famous Jackson Family. Enjoying life. @thehawkj5 Working hard and dedication makes dreams come true,” is his description.
In a post from 2017, Joe Jackson shared a black and white photo of he and his wide, Katherine Jackson, who he calls ‘Kate.’ The caption, although short, carries a lot of meaning: “Some dream to escape Reality, we dreamt to change it and we did Kate.”
And on Jackson’s website for his picture book ‘Precious Memories’ there are stunning old photos and film from decades ago that feature his life with the matriarch of the family, Katherine, his wife of nearly 70 years.
Jackson, known for his bravado and singular abilities as a talent manager for his children, The Jackson Five, The Jacksons and having a hand in numerous of his 10 kids’ careers, was himself a musician; a guitarist in the early 1950s. Most of the Jackson Family patriarch’s pictures on Instagram celebrate the musical careers of his family. But it is Michael who is most often featured.
In a video he posted to Instagram June 6, Joe Jackson is in a Jamba Juice shop and his son;s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ from ‘Thriller’ can be heard in the background. Jackson appears frail, but as he points out ubiquitously in his social, he’s in his 90th year of life. This is his last Instagram post:
The relationship between father and son has been much written and talked about, but whatever came before, his social media tells its own story.
TBT #tbthursday I remember this moment. I looked up at my son, with him standing on the pavement so he could be taller than me and I whispered. "So how is the air up there at the top." And he replied "The best is yet to come, they haven't seen nothing yet". He was focused, he had a vision and pursued it with everything he had. #michaeljackson #fatherandson #lifeat90
Husband, father and grandfather Joe Jackson shares images of Katherine and he, some of his his adult children and, in 2017, posted a photo of a 2015 surprise visit by a number of his grandchildren: “Over a year ago, my grandchildren gave me a beautiful surprise by showing up at my residence in Vegas. A photograph captures forever.”
Not pictured in the Vegas visit photo, Jackson recently celebrated the the modeling career of his granddaughter, Paris Jackson, daughter of the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Today at breakfast I overheard a group talk about Paris. "She is blowing up! A super model, she is on late night talk shows, magazine covers". I reached over and asked, Paris who, what's her last name? They answered, Paris Jackson, your grand daughter ! Made me proud. That's my girl ! Be so good, they can't ignore you !
In one of his latest posts, Jackson write about sunsets: “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! Are you dreaming? Pause your dreaming, and come and watch the sunset, it is better than all the dreams.”
In one of another of Jackson’s recent posts, there’s a short video set to a heartbreaking instrumental where Jackson visits the Gary, Indiana home where he and Katherine Jackson raised their famous fam.
Joe Jackson’s Twitter Account Predates His Instagram & Includes Years of Family Photos
On his Twitter, Joe Jackson is @Joe5Jackson.
Days after what would have been Michael Jackson’s 59th birthday, Joe again goes back to Indiana, on Twitter.
And for Michael Jackson fans, billions of them, scrolling though Joe Jackson’s social media can be bitter sweet. There are many, many images of his son, some as an adult, many in the years right before his death, but Jackson also takes followers way back, too. (And sometimes, there are photos and videos of Joe Jackson sitting alone with Michael’s music in the background.)
Katherine appears to be the omnipresent love and strength in his life and he devotes many pages to her and in his ‘Precious Memories’ picture book promotional video, the throwback flicks are pretty great.
Besides business and his family, Jackson’s posts largely consist of photos of he and friends and celebrates and, for example on a cruise, snaps of him with the ship’s captain and the wait staff.
But he did have occasion to post about politics. Joe Jackson is not only a friend of Pres. Donald Trump, he posted a black and white photograph of Trump, Katherine and members of the family including Janet, and captioned it, “Trump is misunderstood.” Days after the election in 2016, Jackson posted an up-to-date photo of the “President Elect Donald J. Trump” and inexplicably, on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2016, Joe Jackson said Merry Christmas with a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But in 2015, curiously, Jackson said he was a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and said she should be POTUS: “I am a long term big supporter of hers. #Hillary2016.”
Jackson’s Facebook Page is a Near Mirror of His Instagram With a Few Key Differences
There are dozens of old family photos on Joe’s Facebook page. His captions are often very brief, if there are any captions at all. The clothing often dates these pics. Like this one that is clearly from the 1970s.
Jackson’s posts go back several years and while there is a mix of business, and family, clearly promotional and often emotional; it’s a journey.