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US rights activist, former Clinton advisor Vernon Jordan dies at 85: Report

Reuters

Jordan's role as a Washington insider took him all the way to the White House, where he was a close friend and adviser to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Vernon Jordan, who grew up in the segregated South to become an influential leader in the American civil rights movement, Washington politics, and Wall Street, died at the age of 85, a reporter for the CNBC and the New York Times said Tuesday, citing a statement from his family.

Jordan, who is 1980 was badly wounded by a white supremacist sniper in Indiana, died Monday night, according to the statement, journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin said on Twitter.

Jordan "passed away peacefully last evening surrounded by loved ones. We appreciate all of the outpourings of love and affection," the statement said.



Jordan worked well into his 80s, going back and forth between the jobs at the Gump Akin international law and lobbying firm in Washington and the Lazard financial management firm in New York. Representatives for Gump Akin did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the report.

Ordan's role as Washington's insider took him all the way to the White House, where he was a close friend, a golfer, and President Bill Clinton's adviser in the 1990s.

He never held a formal government job, but nobody knew better than Jordan how favors, access, and requests worked in Washington. In 2018, the Financial Times called him "one of America's most connected men."


Jordan grew up in a housing project in Atlanta before his family bought a home, and he was the only black man in his class at DePauw University in rural Greencastle, Indiana.

After graduating, Jordan earned a law degree from Howard University and returned to Atlanta to work as a civil rights lawyer. Among his cases was one that integrated the University of Georgia and helped Jordan to escort his two young black clients to their first day of class.


Jordan later went to work for the NAACP and the United Black College Fund before becoming head of the National Urban League in 1971.


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