Vernon Jordan, a trailblazing and influential civil rights leader in the fields of law, business and Washington politics, died Monday, according to reports. Jordan was 85 years old. His cause of death was not immediately reported.
Jordan, who as a young man was named as president of the National Urban League, was a proud graduate of the Howard University School of Law before going on to achieve major success that included a close friendship with Bill Clinton.
“Jordan joined the effort to desegregate colleges and universities and helped lead black student Charlayne Hunter through a group of whites protesting the University of Georgia’s integration policy in 1961. He was named field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Georgia (1961–63) and then became director of the Southern Regional Council for the Voter Education Project (1964–68). By 1966 Jordan’s political influence was evident through his participation in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s civil rights conference. As director of the United Negro College Fund in 1970, he raised $10 million in contributions that benefited African American institutions. While serving as president of the National Urban League (1972–81), Jordan joined corporate boards such as American Express and Dow Jones, thereby using business connections to press the case for minority hiring and advancement.”
The National Urban League sent an email of condolences to NewOne mourning Jordan’s death.
“The nation has lost one of its greatest champions of racial and economic justice. He was a transformational leader who brought the movement into a new era. He was a personal mentor and dear friend. His passing leaves a tremendous void that can never be filled,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said in a statement.
Morial added later:
“The National Urban League would not be where it is today without Vernon Jordan. We have lost more than a leader; we have lost a brother. We send our prayers to his wife Ann, his daughter Vikee, and his entire family and extended family as we rededicate our commitment to his vision of justice and equality.”
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
8. Sarah Obama, paternal step-grandmother of Barack Obama, 99
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9. Craig "muMs" Grant, poet-actor
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10. Elgin Baylor, NBA legend, 86
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11. Yaphet Kotto, actor, 81
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12. Reggie Warren, singer, 52
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13. Jo Thompson, muscian-singer, 92
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14. Paul H. Brock, journalist, 89
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15. "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, boxing legend, 66
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16. Robert Ashby, military hero, 95
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17. Obe Noir, rapper-activist, 31
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18. Marshall Latimore, journalist, 36
Source:The Atlanta Voice
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19. Lawrence Otis Graham, author, 59
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20. Jahmil French, actor, 28
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21. Bunny Wailer, reggae icon, 73
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22. Irv Cross, legendary broadcaster, 81
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23. Shelia Washington, founder, Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, 61
Source:William H. Hampton
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24. Antoine Hodge, opera singer, 38
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25. Douglas Turner Ward, actor, Negro Ensemble Company co-founder, 90
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26. Prince Markie Dee, rapper, 52
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27. Vincent Jackson, former NFL star, 38
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28. Danny Ray, MC who put cape on James Brown, 85
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29. Frederick K.C. Price, evangelist, 89
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30. Terez Paylor, sports journalist, 37
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31. Mary Wilson, co-founder of The Supremes, 76
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32. Karen Lewis, former Chicago Teachers Union president, 67
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33. Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champion, 67
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34. Dianne Durham, gymnast, 52
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35. John Chaney, college basketball coaching legend, 89
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36. Cicely Tyson, actresss, 96
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37. Hank Aaron, MLB icon, 86
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38. Duranice Pace, gospel singer, 62
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39. Tim Lester, NFL star, 52
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40. Bryan Monroe, former NABJ president, 55
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41. Meredith C. Anding Jr., civil rights icon, 79
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42. Eric Jerome Dickey, best-selling author, 59
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43. Floyd Little, football legend, 78
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Continue reading Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We’ve Lost In 2021
Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We've Lost In 2021
UPDATED: 2:45 p.m. ET, April 11, 2021 —
While death is inevitably a part of life, that truth doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to those who have died. Keep reading to learn more about the notable Black lives that we've lost in 2021.
Antron Pippen, son of Hal of Fame NBA champion Scottie Pippen, has died. The elder Pippen made the announcement Monday afternoon in an Instagram post. There was no cause of death reported. Antron Pippen was 33 years old.
[caption id="attachment_4141744" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Source: Instagram / Scottie Pippen[/caption]
Scottie Pippen wrote:
"I’m heartbroken to share that yesterday, I said goodbye to my firstborn son Antron. The two of us shared a love for basketball and we had countless conversations about the game. Antron suffered from chronic asthma and if he hadn’t had it, I truly believe he would've made it to the NBA. He never let that get him down, though—Antron stayed positive and worked hard, and I am so proud of the man that he became. Please keep his mom, Karen, and all of his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. A kind heart and beautiful soul gone way too soon. I love you, son, rest easy until we meet again."
Longtime Democratic congressman Alcee Hastings died on April 6 at the age of 84 after battling pancreatic cancer. Hastings made history on several fronts, becoming the first Black appointed federal judge in the state of Florida, and the first Black person elected to represent Florida in the House since Reconstruction. Hastings served as Florida's longest running congressman.
Alvin Sykes, hailed as a self-taught legal defender and civil rights activist, died at the age of 64 at a hospice in Kansas on March 19. Sykes was most famously known for his work on landmark cold cases and helped reopen the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till.
According to a close friend, Sykes died from complications from a fall that left him partially paralyzed two years ago, The New York Times reports. In addition to his work on cold cases Sykes assisted local, state and federal lawmakers to reform jury selection and advocated for DNA research in murder investigations.
Sarah Obama, the paternal step-grandmother of President Barack Obama died on Monday after being hospitalized for a week, relatives and officials confirmed. Her death was not related to COVID-19 complications. She was at least 99 years old and will be buried on Tuesday.
“The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation. We’ve lost a strong, virtuous woman, a matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
News circulated on March 25 that renowned poet and actor Craig "muMs" Grant died from an unknown cause. Grant's death was shared by "Real World" star and fellow writer Kevin Powell, who posted a tribute to Grant on Twitter. Grant was most notably known for his role as Arnold "Poet" Jackson on the groundbreaking HBO series "Oz," and starred in a series of movies and films including Netflix's "Luke Cage" and "She's Gotta Have It."
Hall of Fame basketball player Elgin Baylor died March 22 at the age of 86. His wife confirmed the Los Angeles Lakers legend's death and said Baylor died of natural causes.
Jeannie Buss, the owner of the Lakers, mourned Baylor in a statement:
"Elgin was THE superstar of his era -- his many accolades speak to that," Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. "He was one of the few Lakers players whose career spanned from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. But more importantly he was a man of great integrity, even serving his country as a U.S. Army reservist, often playing for the Lakers only during his weekend pass. He is one of the all-time Lakers greats with his No. 22 jersey retired in the rafters and his statue standing guard in front of STAPLES Center. He will always be part of the Lakers legacy. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I'd like to send my thoughts, prayers and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family."
MORE: Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks We Lost In 2020
Antoine Hodge, a respected and celebrated opera singer, died from COVID-19 on Feb. 22. He was 38 years old. Hodge recently appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019 production of “Porgy and Bess."
Douglas Turner Ward, an actor and the co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Company, died Feb. 20 at the age of 90. His cause of death was not immediately announced. Ward, who appeared in Broadway plays such as, “A Raisin in the Sun,” was a champion for Black playwrights at a time when support for them for nearly nonexistent. He said he was proud of the success his company has had over the years.
"I'm proud of the personnel that we trained and the fact that they're still active in every field of theater, TV and film," Ward told the Roundabout Theater Company in an interview published nearly a year ago. "Not just the writers, but the actors, the designers, the stage managers, the backstage personnel, the directors. Everybody. To this day they are all over American show business working. And some creating their own theaters."
Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of The Supremes, the iconic trio who went on to make music history with the legendary Motown Records, has died at the age of 76. Her death on Feb. 8 was unexpected, according to her publicist. There was no cause of death immediately announced. Scroll down to learn more about her life and the lasting impact she left on popular music.
[caption id="attachment_4089207" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Source: Sherry Rayn Barnett / Getty[/caption]
Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks died on Feb. 5 after a five-year battle with prostate and other cancers. Spinks, 67, was most famously known for one of the greatest sports upsets of all time during a 1978 boxing match with Muhammad Ali, where he beat the champ, securing the heavyweight title. Several months later Ali reclaimed the title. Although they were fierce competitors the two stayed close well into their later years.
[caption id="attachment_4088895" align="alignnone" width="712"] Source: ABC Photo Archives / Getty[/caption]
The world is mourning an icon after it was revealed that Oscar-nominated actress Cicely Tyson died on Jan. 28. Her cause of death is unknown. At age 96, Tyson was one of the most acclaimed actresses in Hollywood, paving the way for Black thespians while representing the last of the film industry's golden age. But her road to success was tested at several points in career where she was faced with racism, sexism, misogynoir. Throughout her career which spanned over 60 years in television, film and theatre, Cicely was nominated for 52 awards, with 49 wins.
[caption id="attachment_4083795" align="alignnone" width="819"] Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty[/caption]
Her death comes just two days after the release of her memoir "Just as I am" in which Tyson reflected on her contributions and her personal trials and tribulations.
Major League Baseball hero Hank Aaron died on Jan. 22 at the age of 86 from an unknown cause, according to his daughter who confirmed the tragic news. Aaron was a prolific athlete who rose through poverty as a child of the Great Depression to become hailed as baseball's "home run king." In 1974 he made history shattering the record held by Babe Ruth of 714 home runs in a career.
Fans and supporters of Aaron's legacy shared their grief on social media, mourning the loss of another great sports legend.
Meredith C. Anding Jr., a civil rights icon who as a member of the “Tougaloo Nine" was arrested for entering a "whites only" library in 1961, died Jan. 8. Anding was 79 years old. The cause of death was complications from leukemia. Scroll down to read more about his life.
Scroll down to see some of the other notable Black people who have died in 2021.