Sigmund Esco Jackson was born on his mother Katherine's 21st birthday in 1951. Nicknamed Jackie by his grandfather, taken from Jackson Boy, he came from a black working-class family. He and his brothers and sisters grew up in a two-room house in Gary, Indiana, an industrial city outside of Chicago. In 1964, Jackie's father, Joseph, formed the Jackson Brothers singing group, which included Jackie and his brothers Tito and Jermaine. The group included younger brothers Marlon and Michael playing assorted percussive instruments. By 1966, Joseph made Michael the lead singer and within two years, they emerged professionally under the name the Jackson Five, which was later altered to a numeral 5 after signing with Motown in 1969. Prior to the group signing with Motown, Jackson wanted to pursue a career in professional baseball.