Michael Jackson, renowned KABC Radio and Los Angeles talk radio personality, died Saturday with his children at his bedside. He was 87.
According to a family spokesperson, Jackson had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for more than a decade.
Born in England, Jackson lived through World War II and The Blitz bombings of the British Isle, where his father served as a Royal Air Force Navigator Trainer. After the war, the Jackson family moved to South Africa, where Michael began a career as a radio disc jockey. In 1958, horrified by apartheid, the family moved to San Francisco, where Jackson worked as a DJ at KYA and KEWB, before moving to Los Angeles at KHJ and later KNX.
Eight years later, Jackson took a job at KABC Radio in Los Angeles (and syndicated on the ABC Radio Network), where he remained for nine years, kicking off a 32-year run as one of the most notable radio talk show personalities at the time. During his three-decade career, Jackson interviewed such political luminaries as Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, along with A-List movie and TV stars and other creative artists.
Among the numerous awards and honors he received along the way were induction into the Radio Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, four Golden Mike Awards, an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Western School of Law, presentation of the French Legion of Merit Award, and the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Jackson is survived by his children Alan Jackson, Alisa Lipton and Devon Jackson, their spouses, Heidi, Tom and Sarah and his grandchildren Taylor, Emily, Adeline, Amelia and Hugo.
Jackson’s children asked, “Everyone honor his time-honored legacy by being polite and good to one another. To unite as one people and to uphold Democracy in the America that our Father so cherished and promoted though out his life on-air and at home. We are grateful for our Loving Father and to those of you who loved him too.”
The family asks that donations be given to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in “Memory of Talk Radio Broadcaster Michael Robin Jackson” at www.michaeljfox.org.