Vernon Jordan, close advisor to former President Bill Clinton, civil rights icon, dies at 85

By , KNX 1070

Civil rights icon and close adviser to former President Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan, died Monday evening. He was 85.

His daughter, Vickee Jordan, tells NBC News that he "passed away peacefully Monday, surrounded by loved ones."

"We appreciate all of the outpouring of love and affection," she said in a statement.

Jordan executive director of the United Negro College Fund and president of the National Urban League.

"Today, the world lost an influential figure in the fight for civil rights and American politics, Vernon Jordan. An icon to the world and a lifelong friend to the NAACP, his contribution to moving our society toward justice is unparalleled," NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement Tuesday, according to CNN. "In 2001, Jordan received the NAACP's Spingarn Medal for a lifetime of social justice activism. His exemplary life will shine as a guiding light for all that seek truth and justice for all people."

Jordan, born on August 15, 1935, graduated from DePauw University in Indiana in 1957, studied law at Howard University, and began his career fighting segregation, beginning with a lawsuit against the University of Georgia's integration policy in 1961.

Jordan's wife, Shirley Yarbrough Jordan, died in December 1985. He is survived by his daughter.

A cause of death was not immediately released.

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