A former White House butler, who worked for 11 presidents in a career that spanned five decades, died at 91 from coronavirus.
It was Jackie Kennedy who noticed Wilson Roosevelt Jerman while working as a housekeeper in the White House.
The first lady at the time promoted him, and from there he worked as a butler.
She helped make it happen
“Said her granddaughter, Jamila Garrett, to Fox 5.
Decades later, Mr. Jerman was commemorated by another First Lady, appearing in a photo in memory of Michelle Obama, Becoming.
Paying tribute after her death, Obama said her family was “fortunate to have known him.”
“With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of first families, including our own,” she said in a statement to NBC News.
“His service to others – his desire to go beyond the country he loved and all those whose lives he touched – is a legacy worthy of his generous spirit. “
He died with a coronavirus last weekend.
Jerman’s family members say he stood out not only from the Kennedys, who were in the White House from 1961 to 1963, and from the Obamas, who lived there from 2009 to 2017, but others that he encountered in his roles.
Mr. Jerman’s career began in 1957 under the Eisenhower administration. In his last post, he was a butler at the Obama White House.
He left office in 2012, and President Obama paid tribute to him
a series of plaques, one representing each of the presidents he had served, Jerman’s granddaughter Shanta Taylor Gay told CNN.
He remains an important figure for those who study the history of African-Americans and their role in political life.
Like other African American men of his generation, he demonstrated dignity in one of the few positions available to him at the time, said Koritha Mitchell of Ohio State University, author of From Slave Cabins to the White House.
She said he must have found it satisfying to end his career the way he did.
He worked for Mr. Obama, “a worthy president who was also an African American,” she said, adding, “It must have looked like a victory.”