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 funeral.
NCIS Season 2Edit
In "The Bone Yard (episode)", Gibbs mentions that his father passed away years ago - but considering he was talking to a mob boss who was threatening his family, the veracity of the statement was suspect and later proven to be false.
NCIS Season 6Edit
In "Heartland (episode)", an NCIS case brings Gibbs back to Stillwater, where he and Jackson started working through their issues and began repairing their relationship.
NCIS Season 7Edit
In "Faith (episode)", Jackson visited his son for Christmas and to cope with shooting and killing a young man who was robbing his store.
In "Rule Fifty-One (episode)", Paloma Reynosa, the head of the Reynosa drug cartel came to Stillwater to kill Jackson for revenge against Gibbs for killing her own father, Pedro Hernandez, the murderer of Shannon and Kelly Gibbs.
NCIS Season 8Edit
In "Spider and the Fly (episode)", Jackson is able to escape from Reynosa and spends the summer in D.C. under NCIS protection.
NCIS Season 9Edit
NCIS Season 10Edit
In "The Namesake (episode)", Jackson and L.J. are able to patch up their friendship.
NCIS Season 11Edit
In "Honor Thy Father (episode)", Jackson suffered a stroke and passed away. He was honored by a full military funeral attended by the entire NCIS Major Case Response Team as well as L.J. Moore.
After his death, Gibbs gave the General Store to Jackson's longtime employee, Cal Fraser.
- 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.
For a more detailed list, see Jackson Gibbs/List of Appearances.