The Jackson family patriarch died on Wednesday, a family source confirmed to ET. He was 89.
“We are deeply saddened by Mr. Jackson’s passing and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the family," John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in a statement to ET. "Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to worldwide pop superstardom."
Branca and McClain also said they "developed a warm" relationship with Joe in recent years.
"Mr. Jackson’s contributions to the history of music are enormous," the statement continues. They were acknowledged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 in a proclamation naming him as Best Entertainment Manager of All Time; he was inducted into Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2014 and his son Michael acknowledged him with a Joe Jackson Day at Neverland. We had developed a warm relationship with Joe in recent years and will miss him tremendously.”
"I had to be like that way because during those times, it was hard, and you have a lot of gangs there, you know, in the area where we were living," he said. "This was Gary, Indiana, and I had to make sure that they didn't get in any type of trouble, and things of that sort."
"I'm glad I was tough, because look what I came out with," he added. "I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right."
As for Michael, Joe described his son as a "nice guy."
"You know, Michael, he was a nice guy. ... The world (doesn't) know anything too much about Michael as far as how he was brought up," he said. "But he was brought up. I made sure that he respected the older people."
"Michael was the type of kid, you know, he was a good kid... and by him being that way, he was able to be Michael Jackson," he also recalled. "He looked good onstage and when he performed, everybody loved the way he did it, because he was that good."
ET confirmed last week that Jackson's health had taken a turn for the worse and his family was gathering to say their goodbyes.
A Jackson family source told ET that he was in a Las Vegas hospital with terminal cancer. According to the source, Jackson has been battling the illness for a while now and doctors told members of the family that he has limited time to live because the cancer cannot be treated.