Hon. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. – 112th Congress
Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. began service in the United States House of Representatives on December 12, 1995 as the 91st African American elected to Congress.
Representative Jackson sits on the House Appropriations Committee, serving on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Export Financing.
As a member of the Labor, Health and Education Subcommittee, he has fought to eliminate health disparities. His leadership created the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health in 2001, hailed by many minority health experts as the most important civil rights legislation since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Under Representative Jackson’s leadership, the Center was elevated in 2010 to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health and Health Disparities. Representative Jackson also secured funding for the definitive 2002 federal report on health disparities, “Unequal Treatment.”
As a member of the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Representative Jackson has led the efforts for development and humanitarian assistance in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2005, Jackson led the effort to provide $500 million in food, medicine and shelter for people suffering in the Darfur region of Sudan. From 2006 to 2010, Jackson secured funds to provide security and infrastructure upgrades to Liberia as it has emerged from its civil war and the despotic rule of Charles Taylor.
Born on March 11, 1965 in the midst of the voting rights struggle, the son of the famed civil rights leader spent his 21st birthday in a jail cell in Washington, D.C. for taking part in a protest against apartheid at the South African Embassy. Years later, he was on stage with Nelson Mandela during his historic speech following a 27-year imprisonment in Cape Town.
In 1987, Jackson graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina A & T State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Three years later, he earned a Master’s in Theology from Chicago Theological Seminary, and in 1993, received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law. He has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees and co-authored four books: A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American Rights (2001), Legal Lynching II (2001), It’s About the Money (1999) and Legal Lynching (1996).
He lives in Chicago with his wife Sandi, Chicago’s 7th Ward Alderman, daughter Jessica Donatella, and son Jesse L. Jackson, III.