Joe and Michael Jackson AP

In this March 15, 2005 file photo, Pop star Michael Jackson leaves the Santa Barbara County Courthouse with his father, Joe, in Santa Maria, Calif., following a day of testimony in Jackson's trial on charges of child molestation. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)

Joe Jackson Dead At 89

June 27, 2018 - 1:03 pm

NEW YORK (WWJ/AP) - Joseph Jackson, the strong, fearsome patriarch of the musical Jackson family, has died, according to a person close to the family. He was 89.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the topic publicly, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he died but had no additional information.

The stage dad of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and their talented siblings took his family from poverty in Gary, Indiana, and launched a musical dynasty.

Five of his boys — Michael, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie — made the clan an instant sensation with the arrival of the Jackson 5 in 1969.

Over the following decades, millions would listen to recordings by the Jacksons, and Michael would become one of the most popular entertainers in history before his death in 2009.

The elder Jackson took a lot of heat from Michael and his siblings for abusing parenting and management practices, including physical brutality, described by the King of Pop in a 2003 TV interview. "We were nervous rehearsing, because he sat in a chair, he had this belt in his hand, and if you didn't do it the right way he would tear you up," Michael Jackson said.

"I remember hearing my mother scream, 'Joe, you're gonna kill him, you're gonna kill him. Stop, it! You're gonna kill him', and I was so fast, you know, he couldn't catch me half the time...but when he would catch me, oh my God, it was bad. It was really bad."

On Wednesday, there were other memories shared of the early days of the Jacksons and their Motown connection.

"Joe Jackson was truly the wind beneath the wings of the entire Jackson family," said Sara Azu COO of Motown Museum. "We're deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family, and send our deepest condolences to his wife and the entire Jackson family."

WWJ's Stephanie Davis spoke to Paul Barker who remembers chance meetings with the elder Jackson fondly. "We meet many years ago in Las Vegas when we attended the Jackson Family Honors television taping ... you always saw Joe Jackson ...  and he always stopped and greeted anyone who talked to him."

According to entertainment website TMZ, Joe Jackson had been battling health problems for some time, having suffered a stroke and three heart attacks back in 2015. He was reportedly hospitalized earlier this month with terminal cancer and family had been flocking to his bedside since.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.