Grew up in a strict Pentecostal home and wasn't allowed to watch movies or TV or read comics; saw his first film when he was 17.
Won two North Dakota state basketball championships in high school.
Drafted by the New York Knicks in the second round (17th overall) of the 1967 NBA Draft; spinal-fusion surgery caused him to miss the Knicks' 1970 NBA Championship, but he helped win the title for New York as a backup in 1973.
Played for the Knicks until 1978, when he joined the New Jersey Nets as a player-assistant coach.
Played in the NBA for 13 years and retired following the 1979-80 season.
Coached the Albany Patroons to the 1984 Continental Basketball Association Championship.
Became an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls in 1987; promoted to head coach in 1989 and went on to win six titles with the team.
In 1992, won the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider award, awarded by the governor to current or former North Dakota residents who have brought honor to the state.
Named NBA Coach of the Year in 1996.
Joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999 as head coach and won five NBA titles with the team.
First coach to ever win 11 NBA titles and the first to win three in a row at three different times (1991-93, 1996-98 and 2000-02).
Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Is the author of several books on basketball, including Sacred Hoops, More Than a Game and The Last Season.
Retired from coaching following the 2010-11 NBA season.
Elisabeth Jackson — Mother
Charley Jackson — Son
Maxine Jackson — Ex-wife
Chelsea Jackson — Daughter
Ben Jackson — Son
Charles Jackson — Father
Elizabeth Jackson — Daughter
Jeanie Buss — Fiancée
Joe Jackson — Brother
June Jackson — Ex-wife
Brooke Jackson — Daughter
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States (BA in Religion, Psychology and Philosophy, 1967)