Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0468
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Full Text of HR0468  102nd General Assembly




HR0468LRB102 20287 LAW 29139 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Vernon
4Eulion Jordan Jr. of Washington, D.C., who passed away on
5March 1, 2021; and
6    WHEREAS, Vernon Jordan was born in Atlanta, Georgia to
7Vernon Jordan Sr. and Mary Belle Jordan on August 15, 1935; he
8graduated from an all-Black high school in Atlanta; he
9enrolled at DePauw University in Indiana, where he took part
10in college oratory contests; he graduated from Howard
11University School of Law in 1960; he married Shirley
12Yarbrough, and she preceded him in death in December 1985; he
13married Ann Dibble Cook in November 1986; and
14    WHEREAS, Vernon Jordan became a law clerk to Donald Lee
15Hollowell, a prominent Black lawyer who led a one-man civil
16rights practice in Atlanta; during this time, he worked
17closely on the case that desegregated the University of
18Georgia; and
19    WHEREAS, Vernon Jordan became director of the Voter
20Education Project of the Southern Regional Council and was
21named executive director of the United Negro College Fund in
221970; a year later, he was recruited to be the head of the



HR0468- 2 -LRB102 20287 LAW 29139 r

1National Urban League, which brought him to New York; during
2his tenure, the group began issuing a widely read annual
3report titled The State of Black America; he began pivoting
4away from active leadership of the group to take on the roles
5of lawyer and counselor for banks and corporations; and
6    WHEREAS, Vernon Jordan was recruited to join the Texas and
7Washington-based law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld by
8Robert Strauss in 1982, where he served as a lawyer-lobbyist;
9he was named co-chairman of the Clinton transition effort and
10became a confidant of President Bill Clinton; he was recruited
11to handle sensitive issues for the White House; he joined the
12Wall Street investment firm Lazard while remaining associated
13with Akin, Gump in 1999; and
14    WHEREAS, Vernon Jordan served on more than a dozen
15corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Celanese
16Corporation, Bankers Trust, American Express, and Xerox; he
17co-wrote his memoir Vernon Can Read! with Annette Gordon-Reed,
18which was published in 2001; he was the subject of an hour-long
19PBS documentary, Vernon Jordan: Make It Plain in 2020; and
20    WHEREAS, Vernon Jordan was a man who saw it as his duty to
21advance the next generation of African Americans in the United
22States and used his decades of amassed influence to cultivate
23the next generation of Black leaders in business, politics,



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1and the nonprofit world; his legacy will not be forgotten; and
2    WHEREAS, At the time of his death, Vernon Jordan was
3survived by his wife, Ann Dibble Jordan; his daughter, Vickee
4Jordan Adams; two grandsons; and three stepchildren;
5therefore, be it
8we mourn the passing of Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. and extend our
9sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew
10and loved him; and be it further
11    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
12presented to the family of Vernon Jordan as an expression of
13our deepest sympathy.