Rainbow PUSH Chief of Staff John Mitchell Dies After Cancer Battle

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is mourning the loss of long-time member John Mitchell.

Mitchell passed away on Friday at the age of 57 after a courageous battle with cancer. 

For decades, he served alongside Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. as his confidant, serving as his chief of staff, scheduler and conduit.

Rainbow PUSH called him “a general on the battlefield for Civil and Human Rights.”  

“He made a difference in registering thousands of voters and securing opportunities for minority and female businesses across many different industries,” Rainbow PUSH Chief Operating Officer Yusef Jackson, Jackson’s son, said in a statement. “Moreover, John was a master at connecting international alliances (including helping to free Nelson Mandela) to enhance peace for mankind.”


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Mitchell’s passing after a long fight with stage 4 myeloma has resonated deeply with many across Chicago and beyond. 


A Facebook post from Rainbow PUSH over two years ago celebrated Mitchell’s birthday, highlighting his indispensable role within the civil rights organization.

“John is dedicated to the cause rain, snow, sleet or shine. John is the man to get the job done! He manages to do one million tasks at once. How many times does Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. and countless others call him daily? Too many times to keep track!”

Mitchell is survived by his wife and two children. 

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