Jackson grew up in Bessemer's Southside Homes public housing community and attended Hard Elementary School and Hard Junior High School before graduating from J. S. Abrams High School in 1972. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and retired in 1993 with the rank of First Sergeant (E8).
Jackson earned an associate's degree in education at Troy University and a bachelor of science in political science from Miles College. He has worked as a trainer for the City of Birmingham and is currently employed at UAB as a supervisor in the Building Services department. He and his wife, Carolyn and two sons and seven granddaughters.
As a candidate for Mayor in the 2017 Birmingham municipal election, Jackson has stressed the need for regional cooperation and relationships with federal, state and non-governmental partners to advance the city. He also supports reliable transit, gun control and efforts to rehabilitate dilapidated houses rather than tearing them down.
- Edgemon, Erin (July 3, 2017) "Army veteran Lanny Jackson announces run for Birmingham mayor." The Birmingham News
- Lanny Jackson campaign website