Culture

Former White House butler who served 11 presidents dies from coronavirus

Former White House butler who served 11 presidents dies from coronavirus”

A former White House employee who served under 11 United States presidents died of COVID-19 this month, USA media reported on Wednesday.

"With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of First Families, including ours", she said in a statement to NBC News.

Jerman was one of the longest-serving White House employees in history, having begun his tenure as a cleaner in 1957.

Mr Jerman's family members say he stood out not just to the Kennedys, who were in the White House during 1961-63, and the Obamas, who lived there from 2009 to 2017, but others he met in his roles.

"Jerman served as a White House butler across 11 presidencies and made generations of first families feel at home, including ours", Clinton said.

Jenna Bush, the co-host of NBC's "Today with Hoda & Jenna", honored Jerman at the beginning of Thursday's show and relayed a statement from her parents, who called him "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 said.

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"My grandfather was a family-loving, genuine man", Garrett said of her grandfather. Very giving, never fussed or complained. According to Jerman's granddaughter Shanta Taylor Gay, his promotion was advocated by then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, the white house butler, started working at the white house back in 1957 as a cleaner during the Eisenhower administration, according to the Hill.

Ohio State University's Koritha Mitchell, author of From Slave Cabins to the White House, said that Mr Jerman was seen as an important figure in the history of African Americans in U.S. political life. At the end of his career, Obama honored Jerman for his more than 50 years of service with a plaque and a coin to represent each President he served, Gay said.

The then First Lady had him promoted, and from then on he worked as a butler. In his last position, he served as a maître d' in the Obama White House. "Our warmest condolences to his loved ones", Hillary Clinton tweeted.

Several former presidents and first ladies shared tributes to Jerman, recalling the way he touched their lives.



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