In my family, I'm the pretty one. My eyes and my smile, my body. I mean, you should see me without a shirt on. It's kinda ridiculous. But my family is smart, driven, and crazy over-achievers. And they look like they're smart. They don't look like me, which has its perks. Except that my family treated me like I was pretty. They expected nothing from me, ever. Never pushed me, never thought to. So I had to push myself. Hard.
Jackson Avery

Jackson Avery is the Head of Plastic Surgery and attending ENT at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and was one of the staff members who joined from Mercy West Medical Center after the merger. He is also a member of the board and the de facto board chairman. Jackson was married to April Kepner with whom he has a daughter and a deceased son.


Early LifeEdit

Jackson is the grandson of Dr. Harper Avery, one of the most famous surgeons in the country and the namesake of the prestigious Harper Avery Award. He grew up hearing about the nobility of being a surgeon at his grandfather's dinner table, which inspired him to become a surgeon. His family never pushed him academically, so he pushed himself; he didn't even tell his family that he had taken the MCAT until he aced it.

Not much is known about Jackson's life before he became a surgeon, but it is known that although he looks up to his grandfather, he detests being compared to him. He also refuses to use his name in order to progress in his career. Jackson is no doubt a "mama's boy" and is extremely protective of the people he cares about – specifically April Kepner, whom he claims is his only remaining friend in Seattle.

Shooting at the HospitalEdit

During the shooting at the hospital, Jackson and Cristina performed emergency surgery on Derek Shepherd, saving his life. At one point during the surgery, grieving widower, Gary Clark held them at gunpoint. Jackson saved everyone’s lives by making it seem as though Derek had flat lined. This pleased Gary Clark and he was then convinced to leave them in peace.[1]

Before the shooting, Jackson was friends with fellow Mercy West resident, Charles Percy. Percy was killed during in the shooting and this had a great impact on Jackson. For months following the shooting, he had nightmares about the event. He and April Kepner also moved in to Meredith's house as both their friends had been killed and Meredith felt they needed support.[2]

There was later a shooting at a local college and Jackson, alongside Drs. Altman and Yang, found out they were operating on the shooter. He refused to continue and walked out of the OR, likely a response to the Gary Clark shooting.[3]

Relationship with Lexie and The Plastics PosseEdit

At the request of Mark, Jackson attempted to get close to Lexie as Mark wanted to find out if she was miserable without him. However, Lexie and Jackson actually grew closer to one another and eventually had sex in the shower, which marked the start of their relationship. Mark didn't want to let go of Lexie but eventually did so, though Jackson kept noticing that Lexie couldn't seem to get over him, despite her claims that she had. When Mark noticed Jackson's interest in and talent for plastic surgery, Jackson decided to pursue that specialty. However, he avoided a surgery with Mark because of Lexie's lingering feelings for Mark. This bugged him and he decided to break up with Lexie. He offered her the chance to tell him that he shouldn't do it, but she couldn't bring herself to do so.

Jackson then dove into plastics and quickly formed The Plastics Posse with Mark, who was eager to teach him.

Feelings For April and WeddingEdit

On the day of April's wedding, Jackson runs into April at the hospital as she is looking for Meredith and Cristina and asks him if he is coming to her wedding. After realizing that she really wants him there, Jackson decides to go. When Jackson and Stephanie arrive at April's wedding, Jackson picks up a box that contains a butterfly and as it flies into the air, Jackson remembers what April told him about wanting butterflies at her wedding, but brushes it off. As April is walking down the aisle, Jackson smiles at the beautiful bride. When the priest asks everyone if they agree to support Matthew and April's marriage, April locks eyes with Jackson as he begins to realize what is really happening. Everyone says yes except Jackson. He then turns to Stephanie and says "I'm sorry" then stands up then sits back down. Finally Jackson takes a deep breath and stands up again and says, "I love you. I always have. I love everything about you - even the things that I don't like, I love. And I want you with me. I love you and I think that you love me, too. Do you?" Matthew is visibly upset, Jackson looks scared and vulnerable, and April looks like she is in shock and takes a deep breath.[4]

April's Pregnancy and Loss of SamuelEdit

Not too long after their wedding, Jackson and April got into a fight about how they would raise their hypothetical children, especially regarding religion and beliefs. April was offended and felt that Jackson loved her despite her religion and therefor just tolerated her. April then left their home and went to live with Arizona and Callie for a while.

Upon running into April as she came to retrieve her iPod, Jackson expressed regret over the ridiculing her beliefs. He said they loved one another and made vows to push through conversations like this, as it was one they would have to have at some point. He stressed they ultimately shared the same values. She agreed, except that he would not agree if she were to tell their future children that their Creator loved. He asked her to take a break from their hypothetical children, but she revealed they couldn't as she was pregnant.

The couple started to prepare for their child. Their world was shattered when Jackson overheard a conversation between Stephanie and Nicole Herman about their son, as they discussed the possibility of the baby suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta. Jackson had to break the news to April, who avoided it by diving into work. At the end of the day, Jackson took her outside to talk and she broke down in his arms as she revealed the sex of their baby to him. They then consulted with Arizona and Nicole to find out which type of OI their baby was suffering from. Unfortunately, their son was diagnosed with type II, meaning he would die mere hours after birth and was also at risk for intra-uterine fractures. Guided by Catherine, Jackson and April decided to induce labor, baptize their boy, and hold him until his final breath. April initially agreed to the plan, but she took her faith and started praying for a miracle. Jackson brought up that wouldn't happen and April revealed her anger and disappointment in God. Jackson then went to the chapel to ask God to show up for April. April found her faith again through a patient who had lost her husband earlier that day. She then decided to name their boy Samual Norbert Avery, the final step she had to take to come to terms with the plan. Jackson agreed to the name and their plan was put into motion. Jackson and April held their son and soaked in every moment with him until his passing. Afterwards, Jackson took April home, where he continued to care for her. He decided to give her space as he felt she needed it in order to come to terms with what had happened.

April first returned to the hospital for Nicole's surgery. Jackson stayed by her side all day, until he went to check on a patient of his in the ICU. She returned to work not long after, and choose to avoid dealing with her pain by becoming a tougher version of herself. She wanted to have sex all the time, which had Jackson worried, but she assured him she didn't need the space and that she was still herself. Jackson filled the void in his life by turning to teaching, recruting Ben to join the new version of the Plastics Posse.


April joined the army as a doctor and did a tour in Jordan with Owen Hunt. While she was gone her marriage with Jackson deteriorated. She became pregnant with their second child, Harriet, and they later divorced and have joint custody of their daughter.

Finding His FatherEdit


Jackson meets his father.

Jackson tracked down his father and took a case in the nearby Avery Medical Center--Bozeman. He requested Meredith to join him him, but knowing the real reason behind his trip, Catherine had April take her place as she would offer a better support system. After hitting a dead end on the case, Jackson spent the night at his father's diner and got drunk. April eventually found him there, but he yelled at her and left. April ended up talking with Robert Avery and discovered his identity. She then went to confront Jackson about this and pressed him to talk to his father. Jackson went to do so and told him the truth. They sat down and Jackson updated him about his life. Robert talked about how he met Catherine and how he walked out because of her crushing expectations. Jackson was overwhelmed and left after realizing Robert didn't know who he was as a person. After coming up with a fix for the case, Jackson returned to the diner to tell his father that he was glad they met, but there wouldn't be a next time because Robert broke the promise you make when you become a parent. He told Robert he wasn't his father and left.[5]

Feelings for Maggie, Harper's Death and Surgical ContestEdit

Following the death of his grandfather, Jackson inherited a quarter billion dollars. He bought a boat to relax on and then decided that he felt sidetracked lately, so he talked to Bailey and asked her to accept a large donation in order to set up a surgical contest that would fund projects rather than just award one surgeon like the Harper Avery Award. His name couldn't be anywhere near it since he wanted to participate. Bailey accepted and later got Richard to run it, since she wanted to participate, too.

Jackson also realized he had feelings for Maggie, and after learning that she reciprocated them, they began a relationship. After Maggie saved April's life, his and Maggie's relationship deepened, especially after April left the hospital and got remarried to Matthew. Though Jackson and Maggie hit a bump in their relationship over Jackson's newfound interest in religion and faith, they eventually reconciled when they learned about Catherine's tumor. Maggie helped Jackson through the process, using the death of her own mother as a guide.


As a child, Jackson often listened to stories about his grandfather, Harper Avery, and ever since then, he has always wanted to be a surgeon. Jackson is very forward, often saying what's on his mind even if it hurts someone's feelings. He is also intelligent, kind and very protective of the people he cares about like his mother, Catherine Fox, and his best friend and later wife, April Kepner.



Cristina YangEdit

When Jackson first arrived at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, he developed a small crush on Cristina Yang and kissed her while inebriated at a party. However, Cristina did not return any intimate feelings towards him. Instead, she broke the kiss immediately and told him that it never happened.

Lexie GreyEdit

Jackson and Lexie Grey developed a relationship after Mark Sloan bribed Jackson with surgery in exchange for information on how Lexie was doing. Jackson got the information he wanted, but didn't tell Mark about it because he'd developed feelings for Lexie and wanted to respect her privacy. Mark did, however, still allow Jackson to perform the surgery he was promised. Lexie and Jackson eventually became a couple, sleeping together all over the hospital and Meredith's house, very much to April's dismay. They attended Callie and Arizona's wedding together.[6] However, when Jackson's mother came to town, Jackson sent Lexie to go visit her sister Molly in fear that his mother would somehow ruin their relationship.[7] Throughout their relationship, Lexie's ex-boyfriend and mentor to Jackson, Mark Sloan was still in love with Lexie and was uneasy seeing the two together. Lexie and Jackson broke up when Jackson realized that Lexie was still in love with Mark.

Mara KeatonEdit

When Catherine Avery came to SGMW for a bladder transplant, she brought along Mara Keaton, a Urology fellow at Mass Gen. Catherine asked Jackson to tour Mara around the hospital, which made him suspect that his mother was pushing him into a relationship with her. Mara felt that Catherine could be really annoying also. He encouraged Mara to stand up to his mother. Mara did stand up to her, but Catherine was not mad at Mara. Jackson was pleased with what Mara had done and after that, he slept with her in the on-call room.

April KepnerEdit

On the night before his medical board exams, Jackson and April Kepner engage in a bar fight and later have sex. Jackson was leery at first, due to the fact that April was a virgin, but she promised him it was okay and she wanted to do it. Later, however, April told Jackson that the reason she had been a virgin so long is because she was celibate. She was completely heart broken and distraught at what happened between them, which caused Jackson to feel extremely guilty. They had another sexual encounter in the men’s room during a break from their medical board exams, which helped both Jackson and April calm down. However, it was too late for April and she failed. When she was let go from the hospital, Jackson comforted her, but April perceived it as him pitying her and told him to leave her alone.

When Jackson accepted the job at Tulane, he told April he felt sick at the thought of leaving her behind. He postponed his move, however, when he heard about the plane crash. When Mark Sloan showed signs of recovery, April told Jackson the only reason she stayed was to make sure Mark was okay, and now that he was, she would be leaving for home.

When April was rehired by Owen Hunt, she told Jackson she was in the process of revirginizing. Although Jackson didn't approve because he felt she was trying to pretend they never happened, he promised to help in any way that he could. However, they couldn't resist each other and continued their relationship until finally breaking it off. The two went their separate ways, which culminated in them seeing other people.

During a massive storm near the hospital, a bus flipped and the doctors had to rush in and evacuate as many people as possible. The doctors believed they got to everyone, but Jackson stayed behind because he noticed a small pink shoe. When April noticed Jackson wasn't with them, she began to panic and rushed back towards the bus as it lay there ablaze. Suddenly, the bus exploded. Thinking Jackson was in the explosion, April became hysterical. When he emerged from the fire with a small child, she ran to hug him, but was stopped by Matthew.
Jacksons alive

April Kepner realizes Jackson is alive.

When Jackson was being treated by Callie for his injuries, April walked in furious, screaming at him for almost dying, but was quickly removed. Thinking she had lost Jackson made her realize her true feelings for him. When everyone calmed down, she went back in to see him. She told him that she wanted him, which Jackson quickly rebuffed by telling her she was marrying Matthew soon. April then told Jackson to give her a reason not to.

Although Jackson may have still had feelings for April, he did not give her a reason to leave Matthew. Instead, he exploded at April, telling her the only reason she wanted him was because he had moved on. This put a small strain on their friendship, but they still spoke occasionally. April even admitted that Jackson set her straight and she was happy to be getting married to Matthew.

When the time came for April to send out wedding invitations, she purposely left out Jackson's name. She said she did this because she feared it would upset Matthew. Instead, she invited Stephanie, hoping she would bring Jackson as her guest. After speaking with Matthew and April, Jackson realizes that April truly wants him to be at her wedding so he decides to go and they share a brief hug, re-establishing their friendship.

During the ceremony, however, Jackson apologized to Stephanie before telling April that he loves her and that he always has loved her in front of the entire crowd. It is later revealed that April chose Jackson and decided to marry him.

After working on Jill Kasliner, Jackson and April fought about how they would raise their children. April walked out and ended up staying with Arizona and Callie for a few days. She came back to retrieve her iPod and told Jackson that they couldn't table the discussion about how they'll raise their children any longer because she's pregnant. They later discover that their unborn son has Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 2 and decide to induce labor at 24 weeks. Shortly after giving birth and holding their son, Samuel Norbert, he died in their arms.

After the death of Samuel, April left Jackson to go overseas with Owen to join the Army as a trauma surgeon. She was originally supposed to be gone for only three months, but ended up saying away for a whole year.[8]

April came back and things between them were rocky because Jackson felt like he had been abandoned by April during the time he needed her most. When April decided to take another tour, Jackson said that if she did, he wouldn't wait for her, although he said he loves her.

April came back from her second tour and Jackson told her to move out of their apartment. She refused because they were married and she didn't want to give that up. He eventually left and stayed with Bailey and Ben for a while. He told April he wanted a divorce and after some sexual encounters and four weeks of marriage counseling, April was served with divorce papers in the middle of the emergency room.

Right before reluctantly signing the divorce papers, April discovered she was pregnant for a second time, yet chose to not inform Jackson and proceeded with signing the papers. Even after the divorce, she continued to keep her pregnancy a secret from Jackson and everyone else (with the exception of Arizona and Alex) until Arizona took the liberty in telling Jackson herself. Jackson was very upset with April for lying to him and having to hear the news from someone else, but he was particularly bothered by the fact that April knew even before they signed the divorce papers, allowing their divorce to be finalized while she was withholding this important information. April confessed that she decided not to tell him because she knew he would change his mind about the divorce and she didn't want him to stay with her just for the baby.

Later, she hooked up with Jackson while they were in Montana to work on a case.

Stephanie EdwardsEdit

Jackson started a relationship with the new intern, Stephanie, after hooking up in a car during Bailey's wedding, but he claimed it was purely sexual and only for fun. However, Stephanie seemed to think their relationship was more serious than that, stating that she would follow him if he were to find a job at a different hospital.

Jackson introduced Stephanie to his mother and the couple became more serious than they were.

Stephanie confronted Jackson about any residual feelings between him and April, which he denied.

Jackson indirectly broke up with Stephanie at April's wedding, telling her "I'm sorry," before standing up, interrupting April's wedding, and professing his love for her.


Jackson briefly dated a woman called Priya, a human rights lawyer who travels a lot. When Jackson was invited to Maggie's game night, he decided to bring Priya. They played and had fun, but the night was abruptly ended when Clive's wife showed up, shocking everyone. After Clive and his wife left, Jackson called the night and took Priya home. He decided then to end things with her because of his feelings for Maggie.[9]

Maggie PierceEdit


Maggie gets Jackson through Catherine's surgery.

Maggie and Jackson began developing romantic feelings for each other during her mom's treatment for breast cancer at Grey Sloan Memorial. The two developed a stronger friendship after her mom's passing. Her mom, Diane, left Jackson in possession of pictures she wanted Maggie to have. April pointed out during the fire at the hospital that Jackson had feelings for Maggie, and Maggie had feelings for him too. Maggie later confronted Jackson, quickly calling such suggestions, "silly." But soon after, Jackson and Maggie started growing closer to each other.

She then later declined his offer for a drink, citing that his mom and her biological father, Richard, are married and that it's complicated. However, after discovering that Maggie's boyfriend Clive was married, Jackson ended his time with Priya, unable to deny his feelings for Maggie. Jackson returned to Meredith's house, confessing his attraction for Maggie and the two shared their first kiss, beginning a romantic relationship.

Since then, Jackson and Maggie's relationship has been strong, with them having conversations about Jackson's loss and pain and Maggie's difficulty in opening up to him. Maggie has comforted Jackson during his mom's cancer treatment, while he encouraged her to be more open in their relationship. After they dated for a while, Jackson asked Maggie to move in with him, and she agreed.


Catherine FoxEdit


Jackson & his mother, Catherine.

Jackson perceives his mother as a lunatic, constantly butting in on his personal life, mostly romantic and professional life, which he was especially annoyed at during his residency.

When Catherine came to Seattle Grace Mercy West to perform the country's first penile transplant, she grilled him on his romance life and criticized his girlfriend.


Mark SloanEdit


Mark gives Jackson a pep talk before his medical boards.

During Jackson's relationship with Lexie, he and Mark Sloan developed a mentor/student relationship, which continues to grow even after Lexie and Jackson split. Mark often referred to them as the "Plastics Posse" - much to Jackson's embarrassment. They later became inseparable and were often teased about their bromance by the other doctors. After Mark's tragic death, Jackson promised him that the "Plastics Posse" would live on.


Jackson was initially a surgical resident at Mercy West Medical Center, until the merger with Seattle Grace. Upon his transfer to Seattle Grace, Jackson has rotated over the services of several surgical departments, such as neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and plastics. Jackson took a shine to Plastics and that is now his specialty.

Jackson is one of four doctors to pass their medical board exams, and he is currently employed at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital following the death of Mark Sloan. When the hospital was reorganized as Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and instituted a new board, Jackson became the de facto board chairman as he is the board representative for the Harper Avery Foundation, the majority shareholder of the hospital.

Sometime in Jackson's third-year as an attending, he was promoted to the department head of plastic surgery.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • Jackson originally declared cardiothoracic surgery as his specialty during his intern year.[10]
  • Jackson loses his composure and gets nervous when on camera. A similar event happened during his high school graduation.
  • He has nightmares, especially after the shooting at Seattle Grace.
  • He had a lucky pencil before it was broken during his medical board exams.
  • Jackson played baseball in high school, and football in college.
  • Jackson is pro-choice.
  • Jackson lost his virginity when he was 17 to Sarah Richardson and Penny Cairo at his junior prom at the same time.
  • April named a pig after him.[11]
  • Jackson was originally board certified in general surgery.[12] But as Jackson had Mark Sloan as a mentor, skilled both in plastics and ENT, Jackson can perform ENT-procedures in addition to Jackson's plastics abilities. @GreysMedical twitter confirmed that Jackson is, like his mentor, double-board certified. This was later confirmed in dialogue.[13]
  • Jackson was the Gunther.
  • Jackson was an atheist, but professed a possible belief in God while April was in critical condition in Season 14. In Season 15, it is revealed that he has now found faith in God.
  • Stephanie tells him that he has "angry face" when he's thinking.
  • He suggested the hospital should be renamed to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in memory of Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan.
  • He likes waffles.
  • He doesn't eat leftovers because he thinks it's depressing to eat food out of tupperware containers.[14]
  • He hates gambling.
  • He hates throw pillows.[15]
  • He's a slow reader.
  • His favorite uncle is named Norbert.
  • He started calling Dr. Warren and himself the "Plastics Posse" in honor of Mark Sloan.
  • Jackson has one of the American Express Black Cards as he offered it as a form of payment to procure a private jet to transport a device for Lincoln McNeil.[16]
    • It was later revealed that Avery has access to the Harper Avery Foundation private jet.[17]
  • In an alternate universe, Jackson severely injured his hand which prevented him to practice surgery for at least two years.[18]
  • As of season twelve, Jackson's badge has been updated so that the department line shows "Reconstructive Surgery" as opposed to "Plastic Surgery" in seasons nine through eleven.
  • He ordered takeout every single night April was in Jordan.
  • Jackson was promoted off-screen to the head of plastic surgery sometime after Walking Tall as he does not mention himself as a department head when Amelia, Maggie, Callie, Arizona, and Owen were pointed out as heads of their respective departments.
  • He was prom king four years in a row.[19]
  • He had an imaginary friend named Frodo, who was half troll, half gremlin, and feasted on the tears of his imaginary enemies.[20]


A more complete gallery with pictures of Jackson Avery can be found here.

Notable EpisodesEdit

These episodes are Jackson-centric or otherwise informative about his life.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Jackson (to April): I love you, April. I always have. I love everything about you. Even the things I don't like, I love. And I want you with me. I love you, and I think that you love me too. Do you?

Jackson: In my family, I'm the pretty one. My eyes and my smile, my body. I mean, you should see me without a shirt on. It's kinda ridiculous. But my family is smart, driven, and crazy over-achievers. And they look like they're smart. They don't look like me, which has its perks. Except that my family treated me like I was pretty. They expected nothing from me, ever. Never pushed me, never thought to. So I had to push myself. Hard.

Jackson (to April): You wait and let him get to know you. Then he's gonna wanna follow you anywhere. Trust me.

Catherine: Nepotism is for the weak.
Jackson: That's what my birthday cards always said.



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.