BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Vernon Jordan
Early life and education
Legal career and activism
|“||I do not challenge the conservatism of this administration. I do challenge its failure to exhibit a compassionate conservatism that adapts itself to the realities of a society ridden by class and race distinction.||”|
- "For Mr. Clinton, Mr. Jordan's roles have been manifold: Golfing companion. Smoother of ruffled feathers (he put the president back in touch with Zoë Baird after the withdrawal of her nomination to be attorney general). Consoler in chief (after Mr. Clinton was defeated for re-election as governor in 1980, after the suicide of Vincent W. Foster Jr. in 1993). Conduit to the high and mighty (he took Mr. Clinton in 1991 to the Bilderberg conference in Germany, an exclusive annual retreat for politicians and businessmen). Go-between (he told Mike Espy he had to go as secretary of agriculture, helped win Warren Christopher a larger role as secretary of state and sounded out Gen. Colin L. Powell for a Cabinet job).
Marriage and family
- His memoir, Vernon Can Read! (2001), covered his life through the 1980s, and was written with historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed.
- A collection of his public speeches, with commentary, called Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out (2008) (Public Affairs, 2008).
Legacy and honors
- Jordan is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Bilderberg Group.
- 1983, Barnard College awarded Jordan its highest honor, the Barnard Medal of Distinction.
- 2001, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP for lifetime achievement.
- 2001 – his memoir won the Best Nonfiction Book for 2001 from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. In 2002 it won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a Trailblazer Award from the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.
Representation in other media
- His role in the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal was satirized on Saturday Night Live by Tim Meadows, who sang "I am Vernon Jordan."
- Jordan made a cameo appearance in the 1998 film Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton.
- In May and October, 2010, Jordan made two cameo appearances in the CBS television series The Good Wife.