BY WALTER OPINDE
Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. is an African American business executive and civil rights activist in the U.S. A leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, he was chosen by President Bill Clinton as a close adviser. Born on 15th August, 1935, Jordan has become known as an influential figure in American politics. Vernon Jordan was born in Georgia, to Mary Jordan and Vernon E. Jordan Sr.; he has a brother, Windsor. He is the cousin of James Shaw, a musician who is professionally billed as The Mighty Hannibal.
The Executive Leadership Council’s 14th Annual Recognition Dinner, calling him an “African-American corporate pioneer,” honored the civil rights legend and 1957 DePauw University graduate Vernon E. Jordan Jr. with the Alvaro Martins Heritage Award. Named after ELC’s beloved founding member, the award honored Jordan for preserving the Council’s legacy. The corporate leadership event, which was co-sponsored by ExxonMobil and Reebok Human Rights Foundation, to place on Thursday night, 3rd October, 200s, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The fundraising awards gala, “Remembering Our Legacy, Building Our Future,” highlighted the pioneering achievements of African-American corporate leaders, past and present, and showcase ELC programs that are building the pipeline of African-American leaders at every level of corporate America. Founded in 1986, ELC is the nation’s premier organization of senior-level African-American corporate executives in Fortune 500 companies.
Besides Jordan, the event honored Stan O’Neal, president, chief operating officer, and CEO-designate of Merrill Lynch & Company, with the Achievement Award for career achievements in corporate America; and Verizon received the Corporate Award for advancing corporate diversity.
Vernon Jordan is currently senior managing director of Lazard Frères & Co., and has recently been cited as one of “The Top 50 African-Americans on Wall Street” by Black Enterprise magazine and as one of America’s most powerful black executives, by Forbes. The former president of the National Urban League and executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Mr. Jordan has enjoyed a distinguished career as a corporate executive, civil rights attorney, and adviser to leaders in public policy, higher education and business, including former President Bill Clinton. A year before his memoir, Vernon Can Read! was released to much acclaim. Prior to joining Lazard Fréres, Jordan was a senior executive partner with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, Feld, LLP where he practiced general, corporate, legislative and international law. A news release noted that “he is a graduate of DePauw University and the Howard University Law School.”
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