Katherine Esther Jackson is the matriarch of the Jackson family.
Katherine Jackson was born Kattie B. Screws on May 4, 1930 in Clayton, Alabama. At the age of two years old, Katherine contracted polio which left her with a noticeable, permanent limp. In 1934, her father changed his surname to "Scruse", and renamed his daughter "Katherine Esther". That year, the Scruse family moved to East Chicago, Indiana.
When she was younger, she desired to become either an actress or a country singer only to find out not many black performers were in the country market. Though she still decided to join her high school band. In 1947, Katherine met Joseph Jackson, also living in East Chicago. Joseph was already married but still dating Katherine. After divorcing his first wife, Joseph and Katherine married on November 5, 1949. In January 1950, they purchased a two-bedroom house in Gary. During the early years of their marriage sang together, with Joe playing guitar. From 1950 until 1966, Jackson gave birth to 10 children, including twins Marlon and Brandon, sadly Brandon would sadly pass away only a day after his birth.
In the 1950s Jackson worked as a part-time store clerk for Sears. In 1963 she became a Jehovah's Witness and had her children follow in her faith, while Joe practiced the belief but never changed his faith. By the time she became a housewife she saw her children's musical talents grow. Joe would later form The Jackson Brothers music group but Kathrine saw how truly talented Michael was and insisted that Joe let him into the group. He later lets Marlon and Michael join but as percussion rather than vocalist until sometime later.
In 1985, acknowledging what was then a positive impact on her children's successful music careers, national urban magazine Essence honored her as "Mother of the Year".
In 1990, Jackson released her autobiography, My Family, The Jacksons, which told about her early years and her relationship with her husband and their children, eight of whom wrote salutes to their mother in the book. She stated that Joe committed adultery a number of times. She decided to file for divorce on March 9, 1973 at the Los Angeles County clerk, but chose to rescind the divorce papers.