Man Who Served 11 Presidents Dies of COVID

Lawrence Kim
May 22, 2020

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, longtime White House butler who served 11 Presidents has died at the age of 91 after contracting the coronavirus.

Fox 5 DC reports the cause of death was COVID-19.

In fact, Jerman had served as a butler at the White House from Eisenhower all the way to Barack Obama and spent 55 years working there up until his retirement, Huffington Post reported.

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also spoke fondly about Jerman, according to Daily Mail, and said, "he was a lovely man". "He was the first person we saw in the morning when we left the residence and the last person we saw each night when we returned", the Bushes stated in an announcement to NBC News.

"His services to others - his willingness to go above and beyond for the country he loved and all those whose lives he touched - is a legacy worthy of his generous spirit", Obama said. "You know, just considering that we aren't able to grieve normally, physically together, that is one way that we are able to still feel connected to his success and connected to so much that he promoted around authenticity and building relationships", she said.

His granddaughter, Shanta Taylor Gay said that Jerman died on May 16.

"He was authentic. He was a quiet but stern man. Always said he lived a blessed life", she said in an interview.

Mr Jerman's career began in 1957 during the Eisenhower administration. Imagine being there when President Kennedy was assassinated and having to receive the first lady at the time.

Paying tribute after his death, she said her family was "lucky to have known him".

He was promoted to a butler by Former First Lady, Jackie Kennedy when John F. Kennedy came into office in the 1960s.

Prior to his retirement, former US President Obama had honoured Jerman with a plaque and a coin to represent every president he had served in his over-50 year career in the White House.

During more than half a century in the White House, Mr Jerman witnessed many changes in U.S. race relations, culminating in Mr Obama becoming the first black president in 2008. "Our warmest condolences to his loved ones", Clinton wrote.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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