Vernon Jordan, civil rights icon and adviser to former President Bill Clinton, died Monday, according to his family

“We appreciate all the outpouring of love and affection,” she said in a statement on Tuesday

Jordan, born August 15, 1935 in Atlanta, grew up in the segregated South and became an influential leader in the American civil rights movement, Washington politics, and Wall Street

Graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC, he became president of the National Urban League from 1971 to 1981

According to the organization, he was the first to produce the State of Black America report in 1976 “after President Gerald Ford and Sen’s State of the Union address. Edmund Muskie completely ignored the crisis facing black Americans “

Under his leadership, the organization added 17 more chapters and its budget increased to over $ 100 million It also broadened its scope to include voter registration campaigns and conflict resolution between blacks and the police

This high-profile post put him in the sights of a racist in May 1980 in Fort Wayne, Indiana Jordan was shot with a hunter’s rifle outside his hotel after returning from dinner as a result of a speech

Jordan underwent five surgeries and was visited by President Jimmy Carter during his three month recovery in hospital

Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed white supremacist who targeted blacks and Jews in a series of murders across the country from 1977 to 1980, later admitted to shooting Jordan He was never prosecuted in the Jordan case, but was put to death in 2013 for another murder in Missouri

National Urban League President Marc Morial is remembered as one of the “key transformative leaders” in civil rights, politics and business

“The nation has lost one of its greatest champions of racial and economic justice,” he said in a statement. “He was a transformational leader who brought the movement into a new era C ‘was a personal mentor and dear friend His passing leaves a huge void that can never be filled “

Morial went on to say that the organization would not be where it is today without Jordan

Jordan also served as executive director of the United Negro College Fund in 1980 and 1981 In a tweet, the organization’s president, Michael Lomax, called Jordan’s death a “heartbreaking loss” and referred to the last time that the two saw each other

“My last meeting with the Great Vernon Jordan in his DC office for advice and guidance on a difficult issue facing UNCF,” he captioned a photo of them together

“He was always there for @UNCF, for #HBCUs & Black students He loved to remember Benjamin Mays, Albert Dent & great HBCU presidents he knew”

The civil rights leader has also been influential in politics, becoming a key advisor to Clinton during his first presidential campaign and co-chair of Clinton’s transition team He was the first black person to be given such a role

His friendship with Clinton, which began in the 1970s, evolved into a partnership and political alliance.He met Clinton as a young politician in Arkansas, and the two connected on their southern roots and their bad education

Although Jordan did not occupy any official role in the White House Clinton, he was very influential and had labels such as the “first friend” He contacted Colin Powell to become secretary of state and encouraged Clinton to adopt NAFTA in 1993 Jordan also got a job at Revlon for Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern whose affair with the president sparked a scandal

Jordan’s actions briefly caught the attention of federal prosecutors investigating Clinton’s actions, but he was ultimately not mentioned in a final report released by Special Prosecutor Ken Starr

In 2000 Jordan joined New York investment firm Lazard Freres & Co as a senior managing partner

The following year he published an autobiography, “Vernon Can Read !: A Memoir” Also in 2001, Jordan was awarded the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP on a Black American for outstanding achievement.

He has received more than 55 honorary degrees, including those from his two alma maters, and has served on several boards of directors

Jordan’s first wife, Shirley Yarbrough Jordan, died in December 1985 He is survived by his daughter and second wife, Ann Jordan

Vernon Jordan

World News – United States – Vernon Jordan, civil rights icon and former Clinton adviser, dies at 85