Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Leader And Presidential Advisor Dies At 85

Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Leader And Presidential Advisor Dies At 85

He was the former president of the National Urban League and close friend to President Clinton.

Published March 2nd

Written by BET Staff

Civil rights leader Vernon Jordan has died at 85 years old. According to CNN, he died on March 1. The cause of death remains unknown at this time. 

The Atlanta native studied law at Howard University, famously filed a racial segregation lawsuit against the University of Georgia in 1961, was a field director for the NAACP and served as president of the National Urban League.

Jordan was also a close friend and confidant to President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, advising the former president during the 1992 presidential campaign. Additionally, he endorsed both of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns. He also stood by President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In 1998, Jordan even tesifed before a grand jury investigating the sex-and-perjury allegations against Clinton.

RELATED: Bill Clinton Kept It Real And Called Himself An ‘Aretha Groupie’

After rumors that he was distancing himself from Pres. Clinton due to the scandal, Jordan famously said, "As to those of you who cast doubt on my friendship with President Clinton, let me assure you ours is an enduring friendship -- an enduring friendship based on mutual respect, trust and admiration. That was true yesterday. That is true today. And it will be true tomorrow.”

Jordan’s daughter, Vickee Jordan, said in a statement to NBC News, he "passed away peacefully last evening surrounded by loved ones.  We appreciate all of the outpouring of love and affection.” 

Jordan's wife, Shirley Yarbrough Jordan, passed away in 1985.

Photo Credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images


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