Jesse Jackson Net Worth: How Rich is the Baptist Minister Actually?

Jesse Jackson is a renowned American civil rights advocate and Baptist pastor with an estimated net worth of $9 million. He is well-known for founding the Rainbow/PUSH movement which strives to promote social justice. Moreover, he has acted as the U.S. shadow Senator for a considerable time. Jesse Jackson Net Worth.

Name  Jesse Louis Jackson
Birth Date/ age   Oct 8, 1941 (81 years old)
Birth Place  Greenville
Profession  Politician, American football player, Film Producer, Minister
Gender Male
Net Worth $9 million

Early Life

Jesse Louis Jackson Sr. arrived in the world on October 8, 1941, in Greenville, South Carolina. His mother, 16-year-old Helen Burns, and his father, Noah Louis Robinson, who was 33 years old and already married, were his parents.

One year later, his mother married Charles Henry Jackson and he was adopted, thus changing his last name. Despite this, Jackson maintained a strong relationship with Robinson and recognized both men as his fathers.


Raised under the confines of Jim Crow segregation laws, Jackson attended Sterling High School, a racially segregated school in Greenville. He distinguished himself in his studies, eventually graduating in the top ten of his class and holding leadership roles as student class president and a letterman in baseball, football, and basketball.

With an offered contract to play in the minor leagues of professional baseball, Jackson opted instead for a football scholarship to the University of Illinois, a predominately white institution. Yet, two semesters into his studies, he decided to transfer to North Carolina A&T, a historically black university in Greensboro.

It was here that he flourished both athletically as the quarterback of the football team, as well as academically and politically, becoming the student body president and partaking in civil rights protests against segregation. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Sociology in 1964, Jackson was awarded a scholarship to the Chicago Theological Seminary to pursue a Master’s degree.

He, however, ultimately decided to withdraw from his studies and dedicate his time and energy to the civil rights movement. Eventually, in 2000, he was recognized for his hard work with a Master of Divinity degree, in recognition of his previous coursework and experience.

Civil Rights Activism

Jackson was one of the Greenville Eight, a collective of eight African Americans who demonstrated at the Greenville Public Library in Greenville, South Carolina on July 16, 1960. All were charged with disorderly conduct until Jackson’s pastor bailed them out.

He then found himself employed by Martin Luther King Jr., who recognized his skills and offered him the chance to establish a frontline office for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Chicago.

James Bevel and King later placed Jackson in charge of the SCLC’s economic division, Operation Breadbasket, in Chicago. In 1967, he was promoted to national director but eventually stepped away to establish his own organization, Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity). Jackson ran numerous projects through PUSH, such as the PUSH-Excel program which encouraged children and teenagers to strive for success.

Jesse Jackson Net Worth

Political Career

In 1984, Jackson spearheaded a presidential campaign for the Democratic Party, facing off against Walter Mondale and Gary Hart in the Democratic primaries. He was only the second African American to pursue a nationwide presidential bid as a Democrat, succeeding Shirley Chisholm.

In 1988, he aimed to earn the Democratic presidential nomination again, this time around more strategically organized and better financed. In the Michigan Democratic caucus, he obtained an impressive 55% of the votes, turning him into a legitimate front-runner contender. Yet, he was defeated in a number of primaries by Michael Dukakis and finally lost the nomination.

During both campaigns, his message was rooted in liberal policies that called for diminishing the Department of Defense budget, a single-payer healthcare system, ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, free college for all, the creation of a Palestinian state, and shifting the focus of the War on Drugs from strict punishment to assistance for drug users.

Initially, Jackson had advocated for pro-life but soon became a pro-choice advocate and renounced government involvement in women’s decisions.

After failing to win two presidential campaigns, Jackson held a political position as the “shadow senator” for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He tirelessly lobbied for the statehood of the District. Later, he supported Bill Clinton in his campaign and was integral in garnering African-American voters for him.

Jackson backed Barack Obama during his victorious campaign in 2008 and was even seen crying tears of joy before Obama’s celebratory speech. Four years later, Jackson supported Hillary Clinton, and during the 2020 primaries, he gave his endorsement to Bernie Sanders.

Other Work

Aside from his vocation in politics and activism, Jesse Jackson was the host of the CNN program “Both Sides with Jesse Jackson” from 1992 until 2000.

Personal Life

In December 1962, Jackson wed Lavinia Brown, and together, the couple had five offspring: Santita (born in 1963), Jesse Jr. (born 1965), Jonathan Luther (born 1966), Yusef DuBois (1970), and Jacqueline Lavinia (1975).

The revelation of his affair with staffer Karin Stanford in 2001 also resulted in the birth of Ashley (1999), for whom Jackson had been paying $4,000 per month in child support. Unfortunately, Jackson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in November 2017.

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