FeaturedIn the LoopNews

Vernon Jordan, Lawyer Who Helped Integrate UGA, Has Died

Vernon Jordan in 1967. Credit: Warren K. Leffler

Vernon Jordan was perhaps best known as a close friend of and advisor to President Bill Clinton. But 30 years before Clinton was elected, Jordan was part of a team of lawyers who desegregated the University of Georgia.

After graduating from Howard University, the Atlanta native joined the law firm of Donald L. Hollowell, which sued in federal court to have Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter admitted to UGA as its first two African-American students. They won the lawsuit in 1961. Jordan personally escorted Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) through a crowd of angry whites to the university admissions office.

Later, Jordan went on to work for the NAACP and other civil rights and education groups, including heading the United Negro College Fund and the National Urban League. He died Monday at age 85.