Jackson, Jesse, Jr., 1965-

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Jesse Louis Jackson Jr. (born March 11, 1965) is a former American politician who served as a Democratic Congressman representing Illinois's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1995 until his resignation in 2012. He is the son of activist and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and, prior to his career in elected office, worked for his father in both the elder Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign and his social justice, civil rights and political activism organization, Operation PUSH. Jackson's wife, Sandi Jackson, served on the Chicago City Council. He served as a national co-chairman of the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. Jackson established a consistent liberal record on both social and fiscal issues, and he has co-authored books on civil rights and personal finance.

Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., was born in Greenville, South Carolina, on March 11, 1965, the second of five children of Jesse, a civil rights activist, and Jacqueline Davis Jackson. He attended Le Mans Academy, a private military preparatory school, and graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. Jackson matriculated to attend his father’s alma mater, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, graduating in 1987 with a bachelor of science degree in business management. Two years later, he earned a master’s degree in theology from the Chicago Theological Seminary. In 1993, he completed his J.D. at the University of Illinois–Chicago College of Law. After earning his law degree, Jackson served two years as national field director of the Rainbow Coalition, a political organization founded by his father.

In 1995, Jackson announced his intention to run for the U.S. House seat vacated by incumbent Representative Mel Reynolds of Illinois. Jackson won the highly contested Democratic special primary on November 29, 1995, with 48 percent of the vote. In the special election on December 13, 1995, Jackson defeated his Republican opponent by a nearly three-to-one margin. Jackson was sworn in the following day, as Representative Sidney Yates— from a nearby North Side Chicago district and then the longest-serving House Member— introduced him on the floor. Jackson easily won re-election nine times.

In October 2012, Jackson was investigated for financial improprieties including misuse of campaign funds. Jackson resigned from Congress on November 21, 2012, citing mental and physical health problems, including bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal problems. On February 8, 2013, Jackson admitted to violating federal campaign law by using campaign funds to make personal purchases. Jackson pleaded guilty on February 20, 2013, to one count of wire and mail fraud. On August 14, 2013, he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Jackson was released from prison on March 26, 2015.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Peter Rundlet's Files William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Records of the Office of Legislative Affairs (Clinton Administration), 1993 - 2001. Subject Files, ca. 1993 - ca. 2001 William J. Clinton Presidential Center
referencedIn Subject Files on Federal Government Organizations, 1993 - 2001 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Records of the Domestic Policy Council (Clinton Administration), ca. 1992 - 1/20/2001. Irene Bueno's Files, 1999 - 2001 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Records of the National Park Service, 1785 - 2006. Legislative Files, ca. 2010 - 1/3/2016 National Archives Library, National Archives Records Administration
referencedIn Records of the National AIDS Policy Office (Clinton Administration), 1993 - 2001. General Files, 1993 - 2001 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Clinton Administration), 1993 - 2001. Laura Schiller's Files, 1993 - 2001 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf The HistoryMakers Video Oral History with The Honorable Jesse Jackson, Jr. The HistoryMakers
Place Name Admin Code Country
Chicago IL US
District of Columbia DC US
Rolling Prairie IN US
Greenville SC US
Civil rights activists
Community activists
Representatives, U.S. Congress


Birth 1965-03-11





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