Nathan Louis Jackson Dies: ‘Luke Cage’ & ‘S.W.A.T.’ Writer-Producer, Award-Winning Playwright Was 44

Nathan Louis Jackson, the award-winning playwright who made a splash with the debut of Broke-ology in 2008 and who went on to write and produce TV shows such as Luke Cage, S.W.A.T., 13 Reasons Why and Shameless, died on August 22, according to multiple reports. While no cause of death was given, his wife told the New York Times that Jackson had had recent cardiac problems, including an aortic dissection and an aortic aneurysm. He was 44.

Broke-ology debuted while Jackson was still in school at Julliard. It premiered at the Williamstown Theater Festival. In 2009, Broke-ology opened Off Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center. Jackson’s other work included  When I Come to DieSticky TrapsThe MancheriosThe Last Black Play, and Brother Toad.

His plays won the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award twice, for The Last Black Play and for The Mancherios, which he adapted into Broke-ology. He was given the Kennedy Center’s Gold Medallion. The Last Black Play also won the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award.

Jackson’s work in Hollywood included a stint as a staff writer on Southland in 2010 and Shameless in 2011. He wrote 11 episodes of the latter. In 2016, he became a co-producer and writer on Netflix’s Luke Cage.

“Jackson’s work often showcased his love for his hometown. Having lived and worked on both coasts, Nathan’s heart belonged in Kansas City. Nathan was especially passionate about bar-b-que and his Kansas City Chiefs. Jackson was a devoted supporter of the arts community within Kansas City,” reads a statement from his family provided to Playbill. “Jackson will be remembered by his loved ones for his warmth and kindness, and his phone calls. He did not believe in text messaging, preferring to speak voice to voice whenever possible.” 

He is survived by his wife Megan Mascorro-Jackson; his mother, Bessie; his daughter, Amaya; his son, Savion; his sister, Ebony Maddox; and his brother, Wardell.

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