John Russell Houston Jr. is the father of Whitney and former husband of Cissy Houston. Houston was a theatrical manager since the early days of rhythm and blues. Houston served in the Second World War and world for the first African-american mayor in 1979. In the 1960s, he manged The Sweet Inspirations (later renamed The Drinkard Sisters), the group featured Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick and her mother : Cissy. In the year of 1986, John Houston became Whitney's business manager and the CEO of her company, Nippy Inc. He set about reorganizing her affairs and signed her to William Morris Agency.
After a continuous battle with diabetes and heart disease, Houston died on Sunday, February 2, 2003 in Manhattan at the age of 72.