A native of Greenville, The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson overcame many challenges such as racism, poverty and the stigma of being born to an unwed teenage mother.
An honors student and an athlete, his athletic abilities earned him a scholarship to the University of Illinois, when he graduated Sterling High School in 1959.
In the fall of 1961 Jackson transferred to North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. It is there that he is most remembered for his student activism, working with CORE, where he helped to organize marches, sit-ins and demonstrations at local restaurants and theaters.
Rev. Jackson's 1984 and 1988 campaigns for President marshaled large numbers of African Americans to register to vote and many to seek political office.