Born on July 16, 1944, Jackson spent his early years traveling through Idaho and California with his home missionary parents. The family ended up in central California where his dad gained employment at an airport, repairing planes. Throughout his schooling, Jackson wasn't interested in reading unless the book grabbed his attention, and he never thought of himself as someone who could write because he read slowly and had a hard time with spelling. With his strong math and science skills, he figured he'd eventually end up teaching chemistry. Jackson later decided on Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon, as his college choice. There he found his interest in editing and writing when he took on being the student newspaper editor. He also found a fellow student with whom he fell in love—Neta Thiessen.
Though they hoped to marry some day, Thiessen followed her plans and transferred to Wheaton College in Illinois. Jackson later decided to move to Illinois as well and graduated from Judson College with a degree in journalism. He did graduate work at Wheaton College also.
After marrying and starting to raise a family, Jackson worked for a Christian publishing company and wrote books and articles. It wasn't until 1986, after twenty years of marriage, that Jackson teamed up with his wife to write books together. The results of that partnership have been extremely successful—over 100 books authored or coauthored, various awards, and total books sales in the millions. One of their most popular collaborations is the Trailblazer series of forty books. The fictional biographies capture a reader's interest by showing how individuals have made their mark on history and Christianity.
Other books by Jackson include the Secret Adventure series co-authored with his wife and the four volumes of nonfiction called Hero Tales. Storybooks for Caring Parents, No Random Act, Heroes in Black History, and his most recent Forty to Life all show Jackson's versatility in writing, from self-help to racial issues. Jackson lives in Evanston, Illinois and is active in his church the Chicago Tabernacle.
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