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While pursuing his dreams of becoming a professional boxer in Chicago, Joe met his future wife Katherine. After Joe's first failed marriage, the two wed on Nov. 5, 1949. The pair moved into a two-bedroom home in Gary, Indiana, where they had 10 children together. Jackson fathered an 11th child during an extramarital affair, prompting Katherine to file for divorce. Katherine attempted to divorce Joe twice, but both times rescinded the divorce papers. They remain officially married.
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Jackson began working on his sons' musical group, The Jackson 5, in the early 1960s. His eldest sons, Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, started the group, while younger sons Marlon and Michael later joined. Joe acted as the group's manager, eventually moving the family to California where the band recorded their first album for Motown Records, "Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5" in 1969.
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Joe helped launch music careers for his other children as well, having his family, including son Randy and daughters Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet, perform at casinos and resorts in Las Vegas. Joe also started his own record label, Ivory Tower International Records, and signed artists under his management to tour internationally with The Jackson 5.
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By the late 1980s, media began to report on stories Joe's children allegedly told of their father's abuse toward them. Michael had claimed that Joe had physically and emotionally abused him through incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. Although he claims to have endured such abuse, he said it played a large role in his success. Both Joe and Katherine have denied the characterization of abuse.
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In 2002, Joe was awarded a proclamation in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the Best Entertainment Manager of All Time by the mayor of Cleveland. In 2011, Jackson was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. He accepted the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his late son Michael in 2014, and in 2015, he was awarded The Rhythm & Blues Humanitarian Award.
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