- NAME: Jesse Jackson Jr.
- OCCUPATION: U.S. Representative, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: March 11, 1965 (Age: 48)
- EDUCATION: St. Albans School, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Chicago Theological Seminary, University of Illinois College of Law, LeMans Military Academy
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Greenville, South Carolina
- Full Name: Jesse Louis Jackson Jr.
- AKA: Jesse L. Jackson Jr.
- AKA: Jesse Jackson Jr.
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
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Jesse Jackson Jr. is the son of the famous Reverend Jesse Jackson. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2012.
Jesse Jackson saw the injustice of segregation and worked for Dr. Martin Luther King. Jackson fought for equal rights through his organizations, Operation PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition, and in 1984 and 1988, he ran for President.
A'lelia Bundles, a former producer for NBC News, talks about covering Jesse Jackson's 1984 campaign and his populist message to voters that they could make a difference.
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Following in his father's footsteps, Jackson went on to become a strong advocate for social change. He joined the staff of the National Rainbow Coalition, working as the organization's national field director. His work with the organization included the promotion of voter registration and education programs.
Jackson won his first elected post in 1994, becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois. He first took office in 1995, and won re-election to the seat four times thereafter, most recently in 2012 (Jackson would only serve four terms, from 1995 to 2012, however; he resigned from the House in late November 2012). During his tenure in Congress, Jackson sat on a number of important House committees, including the House Appropriations Committee. Additionally, he was a leading Democrat in the House for several years. Among his various legislative projects, Jackson campaigned vigorously for the addition of a third airport in the Chicago area. In 2008, he worked diligently on Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
In addition to his legislative work, Jackson has written several books. He and his father co-authored two books: Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice, and the Death Penalty (1996) and It's About The Money! (2000).
Despite his political successes, Jackson would soon see his reputation become somewhat marred. First, he was mentioned in connection to the bribery and conspiracy case against former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested on corruption charges in 2008. Jackson, or someone from his organization, allegedly offered campaign funds in an effort to secure an appointment to the U.S. Senate. Jackson has denied any involvement and has not been charged in connection with the case. The investigation, however, uncovered Jackson's affair with a restaurant hostess and model, which had a devastating impact on his family (Jackson and his wife, Sandi, have been married since 1991 and have two children, daughter Jessica and son Jesse III). Jackson admitted his infidelity to his wife, and the couple underwent counseling.
While he and his wife had begun to work on repairing their relationship, many of Jackson's constituents proved to be less ready to accept the congressman's transgressions; the congressman received heavy criticism from both the public and the press, over both his alleged connection to the Blagojevich case and his extramartial affair.
Just two weeks after winning the 2012 election and earning another four-year term in the House, in late November 2012, Jackson announced his resignation from his House seat; in a statement following his resignation announcement, he cited ongoing health issues, including bipolar disorder, and went on to acknowledge the ongoing federal investigation into his possible misuse of campaign funds. Jackson had reportedly begun to undergo treatment for bipolar disorder at a facility in Minnesota prior to his resignation.
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