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Beloved South LA Thanksgiving Philanthropist E.J. Jackson Has Died

The businessman gives away thousands of free Thanksgiving dinners every year to those in need

E.J. Jackson’s annual Thanksgiving giveaway
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Longtime Thanksgiving philanthropic legend E. J. Jackson has died. The South L.A. businessman behind Jackson Limousine Service was known for donating thousands of free full turkey dinners across South Los Angeles every year.

Jackson passed away on Tuesday of a heart attack according to ABC7, but his contribution to those in need across Los Angeles County was for years (and remains) absolutely massive.

More than three decades ago, Jackson began ordering full turkey dinners for families in his neighborhood who would otherwise go without, starting modestly with 25 meals before expanding over the years to thousands of dinners annually. Last year’s giveaway was among Jackson’s biggest, and saw 12,000 full meals, complete with sides and flowers, handed out during the holiday.

According to family members, Jackson’s legacy will live on with yet another turkey giveaway this year, and beyond. He will be missed.