Jackson was born on December 21, 1948 in Washington, D.C. He grew up as an only child in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his mother, Elizabeth Jackson (née Montgomery), who was a factory worker and later a supplies buyer for a mental institution, and his maternal grandparents and extended family.

His father lived away from the family, in Kansas City, Missouri, and later died from alcoholism; Jackson had only met his father twice during his life.

Samuel L. Jackson's Family Tree