Vernon Jordan, the prominent civil rights activist and close adviser to Bill Clinton, has passed away at 85. Vernon Jordan’s wife, Ann Dibble Jordan, and his children survive him.

Here’s a look back through the life of Vernon Jordan.

Vernon Jordan’s life and activism

Vernon Jordan was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1935. He showed an early gift for public speaking, and his family had big hopes for his future.

Jordan grew up with his family in Atlanta’s racially segregated society.

Although he was an honour graduate of David Tobias Howard High School, he was rejected for a summer internship with an insurance company due to his race.

Instead, he worked as a chauffeur for Robert F Maddox, a former mayor of Atlanta. In his 2001 memoir, Jordan recalled that Mr Maddox was amazed he could read.

Although he was annoyed by the remark, he said: “I was executing a plan for my life and had no time to pause and re-educate him.”

In 1961, Vernon Jordan helped bring about the racial integration of the University Of Georgia.

Jordan attended DePauw University in Indiana and the Howard University School Of Law. Following this, he went on to become the president of the National Urban League from 1971-1981.

As well as this, Vernon Jordan was the executive director of the United Negro College Fund in 1980 and 1981. The organisation’s president, Michael Lomax, remembered Jordan today:

Who is Vernon Jordan’s wife, Ann Dibble Jordan?

Vernon Jordan’s wife, Ann, is well known in her own right. She is actually Jordan’s second wife, whom he married in 1986.

She’s a company director and former social worker. From 1981-2007, she served as a director of Johnson & Johnson.

Ann Dibble Jordan also served in other high-profile positions, such as on the board of Citigroup and LabCorp.

Vincent Jordan and Ann Jordan, got married in 1986 and have four children and nine grandchildren together.

In 1994, alongside his wife, Vincent Jordan organised a Democratic fundraiser that raised $3 million for the Clinton campaign.

However, Jordan also had a previous marriage. Vernon Jordan’s first wife, Shirley Yarbrough Jordan, sadly passed away in 1985. The pair have a daughter, Vickee Jordan Adams, who works in media relations for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Tributes to Vernon Jordan

Tributes have been pouring in across social media today for Vernon Jordan.

Here are just a few:

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