Joe Jackson dead at 89

IT WAS a life of platinum records and an iron fist.

Patriarch of the Jackson family, Joe Jackson, has died at 89 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, TMZ reports.

The news comes after Jermaine Jackson told press last week that the family was having a difficult time visiting him or getting information about his condition.

"No one knew what was going on - we shouldn't have to beg, plead and argue to see our own father, especially at a time like this," he said at the time.

"We have been hurting. We were not being told where he was and couldn't get the full picture. Even from the doctor. My mother was worried sick."

Days after the interview was published, TMZ reported that the family, including Joe's wife and the couple's children and grandchildren, were then allowed to visit him at the hospital.

Jackson had not been in good health for some time. The talent manager suffered numerous health problems in recent years, including several strokes in 2013.

In 2015, he was hospitalised for a stroke and suffered three heart attacks, after which he had a pacemaker installed.

In July 2016, TMZ reported that he was hospitalised for a high fever, though the cause was undisclosed.

Two years later, he was hospitalised after a car crash near his Las Vegas home.


Jackson's relationship with his famous family has been checkered at best.

He fathered 11 children - 10 with estranged wife Katherine and one, daughter Joh'Vonnie, with Cheryl Terrell.

In the 1960s and 70s, he used a combination of business savvy, musical genius and allegedly abusive parenting to turn his five sons - Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Michael - into the legendary Jackson 5, giving Michael a springboard to eventually become the King of Pop.

His children frequently recalled beatings at their father's hand, which Jackson didn't deny, telling Oprah Winfrey that his whippings, for which he used a switch and a belt, "kept [them] out of jail and kept them right."

In 2014, a family insider told the New York Post that Jackson was "no longer a part of the family."


Joe Jackson founded and managed the Jackson 5 but had a strained relationship with his children. Picture: The Courier-Mail
Joe Jackson founded and managed the Jackson 5 but had a strained relationship with his children. Picture: The Courier-Mail


Jackson himself even said in a sad missive on his website in 2014 that when he suffered four strokes in 2013 and was in the hospital recovering, "only two people in my family travelled all the way to see me". They were his granddaughter Brandi daughter Janet.

Janet actually spoke warmly of her father as recently as the Radio Disney Music Awards on this month, in which she told the audience: "My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable, my father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can. My siblings set an incredibly high standard for artistic excellence."

The sibling who set the bar highest, of course, was Michael Jackson, who died of a propofol overdose in 2009.

However, Michael frequently alleged that the Jackson family patriarch physically abused him, famously telling Oprah Winfrey that the sight of his father made him throw up.

Sources close to the family speculated that the King of Pop's extensive plastic surgery was a desperate effort to eliminate any resemblance he bore to his father.

Jackson was reportedly left out of Michael's will entirely.


Michael Jackson, the most famous of the Jackson family, alleged that his father physically abused him. Picture: AP
Michael Jackson, the most famous of the Jackson family, alleged that his father physically abused him. Picture: AP


"I taught them to be tough," Jackson told the New York Post of raising his sons with corporal punishment.

"We raised them in a tough neighbourhood, where other kids were in gangs and getting into drugs. I didn't want them to be soft."

Michael wasn't the only of Jackson's children with whom he had a poor relationship.

His daughter La Toya shockingly revealed in her 1991 memoir that her father beat his children and molested her and sister Rebbie.

"When your father gets out of bed with your mother and gets into bed with his daughter and you hear the mother saying, 'No, Joe, not tonight. Let her rest. Leave her alone, she's tired,' that makes you crazy," La Toya wrote.

However, at the time of the book's release, Rebbie denied that her father raped her, but said he touched her inappropriately.

Jackson denied the allegations of sexual abuse.

Despite the controversies and tragedies the Jacksons suffered through the years, the patriarch remained adamant that he had no regrets about anything in his life.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission.

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