Reknowned music manager and producer, Ken Kragen remembers Michael Jackson as a great humanitarian who expressed tremendous interest in humanitarianism, equality, and world peace for all of his adult life: "He did this through song... Can You Feel It, Man in the Mirror, and We Are the World... and so many other ways", Kragen says.
"Michael was a tremendous humanitarian. I don't think he got the credit certainly in the later years with everything that happened."
Kragen was key in gathering the mega-stars who got behind 1985's "We Are the World" project for USA for Africa, which aided famine relief efforts in Africa.
"'We Are The World' had to be the seminal moment in his life in terms of doing things for others," Kragen says.
A year after that, Jackson got involved in recruiting stars as Kragen conceived and organized the Hands Across America project... seven million people joining hands to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness in America. "It forced the government, particularly the president, to release 800-million dollars in feeding funds for women, infants, and children", says Kragen. Michael Jackson visited hospitals and orphanages wherever he went.
Since his passing, he's received many tributes from all kinds of people.
"Try to remember that Michael Jackson loved each and every one of us," says Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. "Not just here in Harlem, but all over the world." "He did it because of his heart," according to Aphrodite Jones, author of 'The Michael Jackson Conspiracy.' "He wanted to because he wanted to give." Jones says she came to appreciate Jackson's compassion and generosity while writing the book.
After covering the trial in Santa Maria, how does she think Michael Jackson changed when it came to humanitarian efforts?
"Michael was never the same after the trial," says Jones. "He felt betrayed, not only by the media but also by many of the people closest to him in his life. All he had left was his family."
Jones says, from that point forward, people just ignored his decades of humanitarian work.
Lou Ferrigno is among those who remember, as he expressed during an appearance on FOX 11's Good Day LA during the week after Jackson's passing. Ferrigno was Jackson's personal trainer as he prepared for his upcoming concert series.
"It was all about love," Ferrigno says of Jackson's sense of giving. "Giving, reaching love. And being a genuine soul."
Ken Kragen says Michael Jackson's passing leaves a hole in charitable fundraising for many pressing causes. He wonders if that void will ever be filled since, as he told us, the opportunities to use such tremendous stardom to make such humanitarian strides will always be rare.