Microsoft’s associate general counsel shares this story that is “as nuanced as it is hopeful” (Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Leader) about his rise from childhood poverty in pre-gentrified New York City to a stellar career at the top of the technology and music industries in this stirring true story of grit and perseverance. For fans of Indra Nooyi’s My Life in Full and Viola Davis’s Finding Me.
As an accomplished Microsoft executive, Bruce Jackson handles billions of dollars of commerce as its associate general counsel while he plays a crucial role in the company’s corporate diversity efforts. But few of his colleagues can understand the weight he carries with him to the office each day. He kept his past hidden from sight as he ascended the corporate ladder but shares it in full for the first time here.
Born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Jackson moved to Manhattan’s Amsterdam housing projects as a child, where he had already been falsely accused and arrested for robbery by the age of ten. At the age of fifteen, he witnessed the homicide of his close friend. Taken in by the criminal justice system, seduced by a burgeoning drug trade, and burdened by a fractured, impoverished home life, Jackson stood on the edge of failure. But he was saved by an offer. That offer set him on a better path, off the streets and eventually on the way to Georgetown Law, but not without hard knocks along the way.
But even as he racked up professional accomplishments, Jackson is still haunted by the unchanged world outside his office.
From public housing to working for Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, and its founder, Bill Gates, to advising some of the biggest stars in music, Bruce Jackson’s Never Far from Home reveals the ups and downs of an incredible journey, how he overcame many obstacles and the valuable lessons learned along the way.
Bruce Jackson is an associate general counsel at Microsoft and managing director for strategic partnerships out of the office of the president at Microsoft. Born in Brooklyn, he studied law at Georgetown University and spent a decade working in entertainment law with some of the top music talent in the country. Since then, he has received Microsoft’s diversity award, participated in Microsoft’s law and corporate affairs’ diversity efforts, helped launch Microsoft’s Elevate American Veterans Initiative, and worked to develop its diverse recruitment pipeline. Never Far from Home is his first book.
“Bruce Jackson's portrait of New York is as nuanced as it is hopeful. In grappling with the complexity of his own childhood—from poverty's pernicious effect on his neighbors to early encounters with a flawed criminal justice system—Jackson asks his readers to confront the systemic inequalities that continue to plague communities of color across our nation. Jackson's own story of success, with the support of a loving extended family and key mentors along the way, inspires us to continue the fight for a world where no one is underestimated and opportunity comes to every single zip code.” —U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries
“A valuable reminder of the invisible hurdles set in front of every young African American—an important story, extremely well told, that should serve as a lesson on how we got here and where we need to go.” —Fred D. Gray, civil rights attorney for Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
“NEVER FAR FROM HOME is both a brutally honest New York origin story and a meditation on race in corporate America, as seen through the eyes of a deeply talented man with broad human experience.” —Erich Andersen, General Counsel and Head of Corporate Affairs at TikTok
“Jackson is incisive […] he pulls no punches when discussing the racism he’s experience throughout his life, but remains determined to rise above. Readers will be inspired.” —Publisher's Weekly