Former White House butler who served 11 presidents dead from coronavirus

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman- White House Staffer Who Served 11 Presidents

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, who served as a White House butler for more than five decades, has died of COVID-19 at the age of 91, local media report.

He was promoted to butler under former President John F. Kennedy, a move that was orchestrated by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, granddaughter Jamila Garrett told FOX 5.

Jerman's run at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. began under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower all the way to Barack Obama, at first working as a housekeeper, later a doorman and butler. She recalled that when she worked as an intern he would get her a meal if she had not eaten and that he even called her during a particularly rough snowstorm to make sure she was okay.

Desiree Barnes, who labored within the Obama administration, stated Jerman handled the employees kindly.

Garrett grew up with Jerman, as well as her mother, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in a multigenerational Washington, D.C. household. Garrett said her grandfather fostered relationships at the White House that helped him advance.

"He was a lovely man", the Bushes said.

"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 in a statement.

Former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton said that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were saddened to hear of Jerman's death.

Shanta Taylor Gay, who is also a granddaughter of Jerman, told CNN that her grandfather had retired from the White House in 1997, but returned in 2003.

Decades later Mr Jerman was commemorated by another First Lady, appearing in a photo in Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming.

"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".

"I want the world to remember my grandfather as someone who was really authentic", Garrett told WTTG.



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