She and husband Joseph Jackson had 10 kids together. She supported her children’s musical abilities, and when sons Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael and Tito became the Jackson 5, she acted as costume designer. Katherine stayed encouraging to her most famous son, Michael, through his success along with his troubles.
The daughter of Martha Mattie Upshaw and Prince Albert Screws, Katherine got polio at a young age. While she eventually recovered from her sickness, the disease made her with a lifelong limp. In the age of 4, she moved along with her family to East Chicago, Indiana, and her name was switched to Katherine Esther Scruse (her dad made a decision to rename her in conjunction with changing his surname to “Scruse”).
Scruse met Joseph Jackson when she was still a teen. Jackson was a fighter and ambitious musician who had been wed when the two first met. In November 1949, after Jackson divorced his first wife, the couple wed. They moved to Gary, Indiana, and would have 10 kids within the next 16 years. While her husband was employed as a crane operator at U.S. Steel, Katherine was a homemaker. A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Katherine raised the kids in her religion, and with strict discipline. A pianist and vocalist, she also supported the family’s musical abilities.