Jesse Louis Jackson was born on October 18, 1941, in Greenville, South Carolina, United States, a city beset with the problems of racial segregation. From birth, Jackson faced his own personal brand of discrimination. As a young girl his mother, Helen Burns, became pregnant by her married next-door neighbor, Noah Robinson. The young boy was shunned and taunted by his neighbors and school classmates for being "a nobody who had no daddy. "
His mother eventually married and became a successful hairdresser while his stepfather, a postal employee, adopted Jackson in 1957. With helpful advice from his maternal grandmother and his own desire to succeed, Jackson overcame his numerous childhood insecurities.