Jackson Gibbs was a pilot in the United States Army Air Force and the father of Gunnery Sergeant-turned-NCIS Special Agent, Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
A native of Stillwater, PA, Jackson Gibbs served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II, flying in Europe as a P-51 Mustang pilot, including during the Allied Invasion of Normandy. When the war ended, he left the military and returned to the United States.
After the war, Jackson worked in the mines for a few years, and later opened the Stillwater General Store with his best friend, Marine Corps veteran Leroy Jethro Moore. He also married his longtime sweetheart, Ann Gibbs, and eventually fathered a son, Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
When Gibbs was fourteen years old, Ann was diagnosed with cancer. The pain eventually got to be too much for her and she ultimately overdosed on morphine. Upon learning that L.J. knew about her plan and didn't stop her, Jackson severed ties with his best friend, bought him out of his half of the store, and didn't speak to him again for over 40 years.
Jackson and Gibbs were also estranged for many years. They got into a fight shortly after Gibbs joined the Marine Corps in 1976, and it was only though Gibbs' wife, Shannon, that they remained in contact. Another fight between father and son ensued in 1991 after the deaths of Shannon and Kelly Gibbs when Jackson brought a date to the memorial service.
NCIS Season 6
In Heartland during a case Gibbs comes back to Stillwater with Ziva. After Ethan LaCombe's aunt interrogation Jackson introduces himself to Ziva as a passer-by telling an anecdote about a bill. Gibbs greets Jackson and tells to Ziva that he is his father. Jackson hosts Gibbs' team in his shop. At the end of episode Jackson gives the car Gibbs had bought as a young man to Gibbs before he comes back to Washinghton.
In Silent Night at the end of episode Gibbs calls Jackson to wish him Merry Christmas.
NCIS Season 7
In Faith Jackson arrives unexpectedly at Gibbs' house in the morning. During the episode Gibbs realizes that his father is strange because he behaves differently from normal. At the end Jackson reveals his son that he has come to see him to asking some advice after killing a man who attempted to rob his store, and because it's Christmas.
NCIS Season 8
NCIS Season 9
NCIS Season 10
NCIS Season 11
In Honor Thy Father Jackson dies of a stroke.
- On his Twitter, Jesse Stern revealed that actor James Garner was originally cast to play Jackson Gibbs but later suffered a stroke after reading the script for the Season 6 episode, Heartland (episode). As a result of that, Ralph Waite was given the role instead.
- Ralph Waite passed away in February 2014, resulting his on-screen character Jackson being written out which occurred in the NCIS Season 11 finale episode, Honor Thy Father (episode).
For a more detailed list, see Jackson Gibbs/List of Appearances.