Jesse Jackson’s net worth as a politician and activist is something you know comes from his hard work in serving humanity. You could also be sure that this amount is something he used in fighting for a better world, as he is one of the most prominent figures in the fight for the civil rights of marginalized people, especially black people.
While his politics aren’t perfect and some are questionable, especially his stance on abortion, you can see that most of the movements and causes he fights for are important and considerably progressive. During his career, he has stood against South Africa’s apartheid, negotiated the release of many international prisoners and hostages, supported marriage equality, and more. He did all these back when these acts were considered highly controversial.
Sure enough, Jesse Jackson has a political career worth looking at. So, please read on to know more about the causes he has stood for and the ones he is still fighting for.
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A Quick Look At Jesse Jackson’s Life And Career
Jesse Jackson’s net worth is estimated to be $9 million. The other activists of his time who were his contemporaries have different net worth, as Bobby Seale’s net worth is only $1 million, while Tom Hayden’s net worth is around $10 million. Now, let’s look at his decades-spanning career in trying to change the world for a better future.
Early Life – The Rise of An Underdog
Jesse Louis Jackson was born in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 8, 1941, to an unmarried couple, Helen Burns and Noah Louis Robinson, who was a prominent figure in the black community. Jesse’s mother eventually married Charles Henry Jackson, who adopted Jesse and gave him his last name. Growing up with a close relationship with his biological and adoptive father and being born out of wedlock was something Jesse was bullied for. The bullying that happened and his other experiences during the Jim Crow segregation laws has inspired him to work harder and succeed in life.
Before the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, Jesse Jackson had to face racially-motivated abuse like being told to use a water fountain, pool, or sit at the part of a bus intended only for black people. Still, he didn’t let these events faze him as he graduated from a racially segregated high school, where he was an achiever despite the abuses he faced. He attended the predominantly white University of Illinois but transferred to the historically black North Carolina A&T to avoid any racially-biased decisions limiting his success.
Jesse Jackson’s transfer to another university allowed him to perform better, and he started getting involved in civil rights demonstrations against segregated establishments in his hometown. He earned a B.S. in Sociology in 1964 and subsequently received a scholarship to attend the Chicago Theological Seminary. In 1966, he stopped his studies to devote more time to the civil rights movement.
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Career – The Successor Of Martin Luther King
Since he began his full-time activism, Martin Luther King Jr. admired Jesse Jackson’s devotion and drive. In 1965, he took part in the Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama, that King gave Jackson a place in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1967, he became the national director of the Chicago branch of SCLC. After King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, The New York Times reported that Jackson could be his successor.
On December 25, 1971, People United to Save Humanity (Operation PUSH) commenced operations until Jackson renamed it People United to Serve Humanity. He intended to pressure politicians to enhance opportunities for impoverished people of all color. Jackson founded the Rainbow Coalition in 1984 and resigned as president of Operation PUSH in 1984 during his presidential campaign.
While his 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns were game-changers, they did not give Jesse Jackson the position he coveted, but that did not stop him from supporting Barack Obama during his 2007 run. He has also endorsed Bernie Sanders during the 2020 presidential primaries. For his contributions to the civil rights movement, France’s President Emmanuel Macron awarded Jackson his country’s highest honor, the Commander of the Legion of Honor, in 2021.
WATCH VIDEO: Jesse Jackson’s Moving ‘Keep Hope Alive’ Speech | NowThis
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Personal Life – A Scandalous Affair
Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Lavinia Brown got married on December 31, 1962, and they have five children: Santita, Jesse Jr., Jonathan Luther, Yusef DuBois, and Jacqueline Lavinia. While his children pursued different careers, most of them worked in politics and as social justice advocates at some point. His second son, Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr., was a congressman who was once married to Sandi Jackson. Sandi Jackson’s net worth is $1.9 million.
After being married for three decades, Jackson, Sr. had an affair with one of his employees, Karin Stanford, which resulted in a daughter they named Ashley in May 1999. This scandal caused him to take a break from his career for a while. A portion of Jesse Jackson’s net worth was also devoted to child support.
In more recent times, Jesse Jackson’s family admitted him and his wife to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago in August 2021 due to COVID-19. After battling the disease for several weeks in a rehabilitation facility and intensive care unit, they recovered on September 4. Still, he continued to be under observation and treatment for his Parkinson’s disease, an illness that doctors diagnosed him with in November 2017.
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Pushing For A Better Future
Racism is still rampant in today’s America, proving that Jesse Jackson’s fight for equality is far from over. While many would argue that the country has changed and Jim Crow segregation laws are a thing of the past, it’s difficult to deny that not much has changed and racism has just put on a new face. These recent events are why we need the Black Lives Matter movement and more people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesse Jackson.
Jesse Jackson’s net worth may be considerably lesser than his contemporaries, and he is still recovering from his illnesses. Still, his supporters believe that these setbacks wouldn’t limit his capabilities in pushing for a better future. Surely, his predecessor in this movement, Martin Luther King, Jr., would be proud of his accomplishments.