May 20

Hamilton Jordan

May 20, 2008 - statewide

It may be the Jordan River, but Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff’s name was pronounced “Jerden.”

Born in 1944, Hamilton Jordan always loved politics. He was voted “most likely to become governor” in high school. He got close. Literally. After interning for Senator Richard Russell, he worked on Jimmy Carter’s failed try for Georgia governor in 1966. Just four years later, at 26, he was campaign manager when Carter won it. Jordan mapped Carter’s successful path to the White House, as top campaign strategist in 1976. Jordan’s first Carter White House job was domestic advisor to the president. In 1979, he was appointed chief of staff.

Jordan advised Ross Perot’s presidential campaign in 1992. A staunch advocate for cancer research after his own diagnosis, Jordan chronicled his long battle with the disease in his book, No Such Thing as a Bad Day. This man, who had known what it is to win big, finally lost his battle with cancer on May 20, 2008, Today in Georgia History.