74 Facts About Jesse Jackson


Jesse Louis Jackson is an American political activist, Baptist minister, and politician.

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Jesse Jackson was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as a shadow U S senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997.

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Jesse Jackson's ancestry includes Cherokee, enslaved African-Americans, Irish planters, and a Confederate sheriff.

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Jesse Jackson was given his stepfather's name in the adoption, but as he grew up he maintained a close relationship with Robinson.

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Jesse Jackson attended the racially segregated Sterling High School in Greenville, where he was elected student class president, finished tenth in his class, and earned letters in baseball, football, and basketball.

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Accounts of the reasons for the transfer differ, though Jesse Jackson has said that he changed schools because racial prejudice prevented him from playing quarterback and limited his participation on a competitive public-speaking team.

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Edwards suggested that Jesse Jackson had left the University of Illinois in 1960 because he had been placed on academic probation, but the school's president reported in 1987 that Jesse Jackson's 1960 freshman year transcript was clean and said he would have been eligible to re-enroll at any time.

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Jesse Jackson became active in local civil rights protests against segregated libraries, theaters, and restaurants.

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Jesse Jackson dropped out in 1966, three classes short of earning his master's degree, to focus full-time on the civil rights movement.

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Jesse Jackson was ordained a minister in 1968 and was awarded a Master of Divinity Degree in 2000 based on his previous credits earned plus his life experience and subsequent work.

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On July 16, 1960, while home from college, Jesse Jackson joined seven other African Americans in a sit-in at the Greenville Public Library in Greenville, South Carolina, which only allowed white people.

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Jesse Jackson has been known for commanding public attention since he first started working for Martin Luther King Jr.

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When Jesse Jackson returned from Selma, he was charged with establishing a frontline office for the SCLC in Chicago.

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Jesse Jackson became involved in SCLC leadership disputes following King's assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Jesse Jackson told reporters he was the last person to speak to King, and that King died in his arms – an account that several King aides disputed.

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Jesse Jackson was reportedly seeking coalition with whites in order to approach what were considered racial problems as economic and class problems.

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The Times indicated that Jesse Jackson was being criticized as too involved with middle-class blacks, and for having an unattainable goal of racial unity.

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Jesse Jackson organized the October 1971 Black Expo in Chicago, a trade and business fair to promote black capitalism and grass roots political power.

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Time magazine quoted Jesse Jackson as saying at that time that the traditional civil rights movement had lost its "offensive thrust.

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People United to Save Humanity officially began operations on December 25, 1971; Jesse Jackson later changed the name to People United to Serve Humanity.

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At its inception, Jesse Jackson planned to orient Operation PUSH toward politics and to pressure politicians to work to improve economic opportunities for blacks and poor people of all races.

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In 1978 Jesse Jackson called for a closer relationship between blacks and the Republican Party, telling the Party's National Committee that "Black people need the Republican Party to compete for us so we can have real alternatives.

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In 1984 Jesse Jackson organized the Rainbow Coalition and resigned his post as president of Operation PUSH in 1984 to run for president of the United States, though he remained involved as chairman of the board.

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Jesse Jackson's influence extended to international matters in the 1980s and 1990s.

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In June 1984 Jesse Jackson negotiated the release of 22 Americans being held in Cuba after an invitation by Cuban president Fidel Castro.

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In 1997 Jesse Jackson traveled to Kenya to meet with Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi as United States President Bill Clinton's special envoy for democracy to promote free and fair elections.

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Jesse Jackson met with then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, who later agreed to release the three men.

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On February 15, 2003, Jackson spoke in front of over an estimated one million people in Hyde Park, London at the culmination of the anti-war demonstration against the imminent invasion of Iraq by the U S and the United Kingdom.

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In November 2004 Jesse Jackson visited senior politicians and community activists in Northern Ireland in an effort to encourage better cross-community relations and rebuild the peace process and restore the governmental institutions of the Belfast Agreement.

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In 2005 Jesse Jackson was enlisted as part of the United Kingdom's Operation Black Vote, a campaign Simon Woolley ran to encourage more of Britain's ethnic minorities to vote in political elections ahead of the May 2005 General Election.

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In 2009 Jesse Jackson served as a speaker for the International Peace Foundation on the topic "Building a culture of peace and development in a globalized world".

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Jesse Jackson visited multiple locations in Malaysia, including the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in Thailand, including NIST International School in Bangkok.

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On November 3, 1983, Jesse Jackson announced his campaign for President of the United States in the 1984 election, becoming the second African American to mount a nationwide campaign for president as a Democrat.

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Jesse Jackson afterwards stated that he had been handicapped by party rules.

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Jesse Jackson mocked Mondale, saying that Hubert Humphrey was the "last significant politician out of the St Paul–Minneapolis" area.

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Jesse Jackson was criticized in the early 1980s for referring to Jews as "Hymies" and New York City as "Hymietown" in remarks to a black Washington Post reporter.

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Jesse Jackson has since apologized for some of these remarks, but they badly damaged his presidential campaign, as "Jesse Jackson was seen by many conservatives in the United States as hostile to Israel and far too close to Arab governments.

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On March 8, 2020, Jesse Jackson endorsed Jewish candidate Bernie Sanders for president.

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In early 1988 Jesse Jackson organized a rally at the former American Motors assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, approximately two weeks after new owner Chrysler announced it would close the plant by the end of the year.

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Jesse Jackson's showing among white voters in Wisconsin was significantly better than in 1984, but was noticeably lower than pre-primary polling had predicted.

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Jesse Jackson's campaign was interrupted by allegations regarding his half-brother Noah Robinson Jr.

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Jesse Jackson had to answer frequent questions about Noah who was often called "the Billy Carter of the Jesse Jackson campaign".

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In both races Jesse Jackson ran on what many considered to be a very liberal platform.

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Less than a month after the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade legalized abortion, Jackson began a PUSH campaign against the decision, calling abortion murder and declaring that Jesus and Moses might not have been born if abortion had been available in ancient times.

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In 1975, Jesse Jackson endorsed a plan for a constitutional amendment banning abortion.

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Jesse Jackson endorsed the Hyde Amendment, which bars the funding of abortions through the federal Medicaid program.

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Jesse Jackson decried what he believed was the casual taking of life and the decline in society's values.

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Jesse Jackson later moderated his views, saying that women have the right to an abortion and that the government should not interfere.

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Jesse Jackson ran for office as "shadow senator" for the District of Columbia when the position was created in 1991 serving as such through 1997, when he did not run for reelection.

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Jesse Jackson was initially critical of Bill Clinton's moderate, "Third Way" policies.

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Jesse Jackson called on the school board to reverse its decision.

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Jesse Jackson had requested a pardon for his half-brother Noah Robinson who had been convicted of murdering Leroy Barber and sentenced to life imprisonment, but Clinton did not pardon Robinson on the grounds that Robinson had already submitted three pardon appeals, all of which the Justice Department had denied.

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Jesse Jackson was a target of a 2002 white supremacist terror plot.

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In early 2005 Jesse Jackson visited Terri Schiavo's parents and supported their unsuccessful bid to keep her alive.

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Jesse Jackson took a key role in the scandal caused by comedian Michael Richards's onstage racist tirade at the Laugh Factory in November 2006.

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Jesse Jackson joined Black leaders in a call for the elimination of the "N-word" throughout the entertainment industry.

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On June 23, 2007, Jesse Jackson was arrested in connection with a protest at a gun store in Riverdale, a low-income suburb of Chicago.

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Jesse Jackson was charged with one count of criminal trespassing.

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In March 2007 Jesse Jackson declared his support for then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries.

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Jesse Jackson later criticized Obama in 2007 for "acting like he's white" in response to the Jena 6 beating case.

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On July 6, 2008, during an interview with Fox News, a microphone picked up Jesse Jackson whispering to fellow guest Reed Tuckson: "See, Barack's been, ahh, talking down to black people on this faith-based.

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On November 4, 2008, Jesse Jackson attended the Obama victory rally in Chicago's Grant Park.

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In 2012, Jesse Jackson commended Obama's 2012 decision to support gay marriage and compared the fight for marriage equality to the fight against slavery and the anti-miscegenation laws that once prevented interracial marriage.

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Jesse Jackson favored federal legislation extending marriage rights to gay people.

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In 1979, Jesse Jackson received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged.

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In 1991, Jesse Jackson received the American Whig-Cliosophic Society's James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service.

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In 2008, Jesse Jackson was presented with an Honorary Fellowship from Edge Hill University.

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Jesse Jackson inherited the title of the High Prince of the Agni people of Cote d'Ivoire from Michael Jesse Jackson.

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In 2021, Jesse Jackson was appointed Commander the Legion of Honor, France's highest order of merit, presented by French president Emmanuel Macron, for his work in civil rights.

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In December 2021, Jesse Jackson was elected an Honorary Fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge.

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Jesse Jackson's younger brother, Charles "Chuck" Jesse Jackson, was a singer with the vocal group The Independents and as a solo artist issued two albums in the late 1970s.

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On Memorial Day, May 25, 1987, Jesse Jackson was made a Master Mason on Sight by Grand Master Senter of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Illinois; thereby making him a Prince Hall Freemason.

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In 2001, it was revealed Jesse Jackson had an affair with a staffer, Karin Stanford, that resulted in the birth of a daughter Ashley in May 1999.

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Jesse Jackson was paying $4, 000 a month in child support as of 2001.

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