Civil Rights Icon Vernon Jordan Dies at Age 85

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Civil rights icon — and close advisor to former President Bill Clinton — Vernon Jordan has passed away at the age of 85. According to multiple sources, Jordan died peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, March 1, 2021. His niece Ann Walker confirmed the sad news with CNN.

The civil rights leader’s cause of death has not been disclosed at this time. His niece stated that he had his favorite dinner followed by his favorite dessert — chocolate chip ice cream — prior to him going to bed.  She further told CNN, “It was just the way he would have wanted it.”

He was born Vernon Eulion Jordan, Jr., on Aug. 15, 1935, in Atlanta, Georgia. The civil rights icon was also an American attorney, influential broker, and business consultant. Even though he never held a political office; he was a key advisor to former President Clinton.

In 1957, Jordan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University. There he distinguished himself as a compelling public speaker. From there he went on to study law at Howard University.

JordanWhile studying at Howard University he joined efforts to desegregate universities and colleges, He even assisted a Black — Charlayne Hunter — through a group of white people who were protesting at the University of Georgia. From the years 1961 to 1963, he was named field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

After that Jordan became the director of the Southern Regional Council for the Voter Education Project from 1964 to 1968. His political influences became evident when he participated in President Lydon B Johnson’s civil rights conference.

In 1970, Jordan was the director of the United Negro College Fund. During that time he raised $10 million to benefit African American institutions.

Through the years 1972 to 1981, he served as the president of the National Urban League. During this time he joined corporate boards. Like American Express and Dow Jones. In 1980, he survived a white supremacist’s assassination attempt. However, he was not unscathed by this attempt — as he suffered from a gunshot wound.

Many people took to social media to pay their respects to the late civil rights icon and his family. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and close acquaintances. May he rest in peace.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

CNN: Vernon Jordan, civil rights leader and close ally of Bill Clinton, dies; by Jamie Gangel, Dan Merica, Suzanne Malveaux, and Veronica Stracqualursi

Britannica: Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

Featured Image Courtesy of LBJ Library’s Flickr Page – Public Domain

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