Who is Michael and Janet Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson?

28 January 2022, 17:28 | Updated: 11 May 2022, 14:28

Katherine Jackson in 2005
Katherine Jackson in 2005. Picture: Getty

Katherine Jackson is the matriarch of the famous Jackson family, and the mother of several huge popstars known all over the world.

But where was Katherine Jackson born and how many children does she have? Here's all the important facts:

  1. How old is Katherine Jackson and where is she from?

    Michael Jackson with mother Katherine in 1984
    Michael Jackson with mother Katherine in 1984. Picture: Getty

    Katherine Jackson was born Kattie B Screws, on May 4, 1930 in Clayton, Alabama.

    She celebrated her 91st birthday in 2021.

    She was the eldest of two daughters to parents Martha (née Upshaw; 1902-1990) and Prince Albert Screws (1907-1997).

    Katherine contracted polio aged two, which left her with a permanent limp.

    In 1934, her father changed his surname to Scruse, and renamed her to Katherine Esther Scruse.

    As a child, Katherine wanted to become an actress or country singer, but was disappointed and surprised to find no famous black country stars.

    Her parents divorced when she was a child.

  2. Who was Katherine Jackson's husband and how many children does she have?

    Katherine and Joe Jackson in 1993
    Katherine and Joe Jackson in 1993. Picture: Getty

    When she was aged 17, Katherine met Joe Jackson.

    Joe was actually married to another woman at the time, but was divorced in less than a year before he started dating Katherine.

    Joseph and Katherine were married on November 5, 1949, and in January 1950, they bought a small two-bedroom home on 2300 Jackson Street near East Chicago in Gary, Indiana.

    Their first child, Maureen Reillette 'Rebbie' Jackson, was born four months later on May 29, 1950.

    Katherine with Michael Jackson in 2005
    Katherine with Michael Jackson in 2005. Picture: Getty

    Joe soon quit his dreams of becoming a professional boxer in order to support his family, and began working as a full-time crane operator.

    In the 1950s, Katherine looked after their growing family. She began working part-time at Sears in Gary.

    Joe and Katherine went on to have ten children in total. An 11th, Marlon's twin brother Brandon, died during childbirth.

    Joseph was alleged to have had a long extramarital affair. Katherine filed for divorce in 1973, but she decided to drop the divorce papers.

    Katherine with Michael, Janet, LaToya and Randy at Jermaine's wedding in 1973
    Katherine with Michael, Janet, LaToya and Randy at Jermaine's wedding in 1973. Picture: Getty

    The following year, Joe fathered a daughter with Cheryle Terrell, named JohVonnie. This led Joe and Cheryle to have a 25-year-long affair while raising JohVonnie.

    Katherine attempted to divorce her husband again in 1982, but was persuaded to drop the suit once more.

    Despite reportedly living separately for many years, Katherine and Joe remained legally married until his death in 2018, aged 89.

    Her children are:

  3. What has Katherine Jenkins been up to in recent years?

    Katherine Jackson with grandchildren Prince, Blanket and Paris, and singer Justin Bieber
    Katherine Jackson with grandchildren Prince, Blanket and Paris, and singer Justin Bieber. Picture: Getty

    After son Michael Jackson's death in 2009, Katherine and Debbie Rowe, the mother of Michael's two oldest children, reached a settlement about the care of Rowe's children, Prince and Paris.

    The agreement stated that the children would be raised by Katherine, and Rowe would have visitation rights. On August 3, 2009, a judge named Katherine as the children's permanent guardian.

    In 2012, her guardianship of the children was temporarily suspended by the court after allegations that she may have been held against her will by several Jackson family members, due to the result of a financial dispute between those family members and Michael's estate.

    In 2017, Katherine resigned as co-guardian of Michael's youngest son, Blanket. Michael's nephew TJ Jackson was awarded sole custody of Blanket.