Born: October 8, 1941, in Greenville, South Carolina
Status: President, National Rainbow Coalition, Inc.
Education: Attended University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, 1959-1960; B.A., 1964, North Carolina A and T College, Greensboro, North Carolina; attended Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, 1964-1966; ordained a minister in the Baptist church, 1968; recipient of numerous honorary degrees from various colleges and universities
Position: Field representative, Council on Racial Equality (CORE), 1964; Chicago coordinator, Operation Breadbasket, 1966-1967; national director, Operation Breadbasket, 1967- 1971; founder and executive director, Operation PUSH, 1971-1986; founder, PUSH-Excel and PUSH for Economic Justice, 1971; founder, national president, National Rainbow Coalition, Inc., 1986-- ; statehood senator, Washington, D.C., 1991-1997; host, "Voices of America" with Jesse Jackson, 1989-- ; special envoy for the promotion of democracy in Africa, 1998
When Jesse Jackson's mother, Helen Burns, discovered she was pregnant, she shocked her Greenville, South Carolina, neighborhood by declaring that she would bear the child out of wedlock. Earlier, she had caught the eye of her next-door neighbor, Noah Robinson, and the two had fallen in love. There was one insurmountable obstacle to their marriage, however; Noah was already married, with a wife and three children. Burns's son, Jesse Burns, born on October 8, 1941, would not find out who his father was until he was nine or 10 years old. He