Topic: Jesse L. Jackson

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Jackson in 1983

Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. (born October 8, 1941) is an American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as "shadow senator" for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to form Rainbow/PUSH. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. is his eldest son. According to an AP-AOL "Black Voices" poll in February 2006, Jackson was voted "the most important black leader" with 15% of the vote.

Jackson was born Jesse Louis Burns in Greenville, South Carolina, to Helen Burns. Helen Burns was a 16-year old single mother when he was born. His biological father, Noah Louis Robinson, a former professional boxer and a prominent figure in the black community, was married to another woman when Jesse was born. He was not involved in his son's life. In 1943, two years after Jesse's birth, his mother married Charles Henry Jackson, who would adopt Jesse 14 years later. Jesse went on to take the surname of his stepfather.

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