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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Ex-White House butler who served 11 presidents succumbs to COVID-19

“Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of first families, including ours,” Michelle Obama said in a tribute to the former White House staffer. 

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: May 22, 2020 3:02:56 pm
Wilson Roosevelt Jerman bagan working in the White House in 1957

Former White House butler Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, who served under 11 United States presidents, has succumbed to COVID-19, as per reports. The long-serving employee began working in the White House in 1957 under then-President Dwight D Eisenhower, and retired in 2012 during Barack Obama’s presidential tenure.

Tributes from former first families poured in after the demise of the 91-year-old retired White House butler was announced by his granddaughter Shanta Taylor Gay. “With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of First Families, including ours,” former First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement to NBC News.

“Bill and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Wilson Roosevelt Jerman at the age of 91 from COVID-19. Jerman served as a White House butler across 11 presidencies and made generations of first families feel at home, including ours. Our warmest condolences to his loved ones,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.

According to his granddaughter, Jerman, who started his career at the White House as a cleaner, was promoted to the butler position under former President John F Kennedy after developing a good relationship with then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. He retired briefly from the White House in 1997, but returned in 2003.

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.

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