In Memoriam: Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr., 1935 to 2021

Vernon Jordan, an icon of the civil rights movement who became a Washington powerbroker during the Clinton administration, died at this home in Washington, D.C., on March 1. He was 85 years old.

Jordan was a native of Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he was the only African American in a class of 400 students and one of five Blacks in the overall student body. He went on to earn a law degree at Howard University. As a young attorney, Jordan worked on the legal battle to desegregate the University of Georgia. During the height of the civil rights era, Jordan was the Georgia field director for the NAACP.

In 1970, Jordan was named executive director of the United Negro College Fund. A year later, he became president of the National Urban League. While serving in that role, Jordan was shot outside a hotel in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1980.

Jordan led the presidential transition team of Bill Clinton in 1992-93 and remained a close advisor and golfing buddy to the president. After Clinton left the White House, Jordan became a senior managing director of the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Co.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Michael says:

    Condolences to the Jordan family. Let’s be clear. Vernon Jordan was part of the establishment Black class which included the Boule, PHFAM, Skull and Bones, etc. In other words, Vernon work tirelessly for the maintaining of White supremacy implicitly and in some regards explicitly.

    • Sally says:

      You should research your history because not only are you wrong but you are everything that embodies what he caught against to bring people together, secure economic opportunity for all and racial justice to the betterment of all people. Michael – what have you done in your life for others? Sad.

      • Michael says:

        Hey sally (lowercase ‘s’ intentional),

        No need for your emotive, neoliberal, and so-called Black establishment rant. What’s the probability that you probably hold membership to one of those so-called establishment Black groups like the Links or Jack & Jill, or BGLOs? Just like I thought. The fact remains, my comments were not personal and simply accurate for which people of your ilk disagree. Therefore sally, you’re in No position to even think about questioning me one the merits of “what I have one for others”. That said, you need to fully recognize that the so-called establishment Blacks such as yourself will no longer determine the narrative for “all of Black America”. Now, I would suggest that you go and make me some biscuits !

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