A former White House employee who worked with 11 presidents ― from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama ― died over the weekend after contracting the coronavirus. He was 91.
Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, who appeared alongside the Obamas in a photograph published in former first lady Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir “Becoming,” retired in 2012 following 55 years of service.
He began his White House career in 1957 as a cleaner, gaining promotion to the role of butler during the Kennedy administration, his granddaughter, Jamila Garrett, told FOX 5 DC on Wednesday.
Tonight on @fox5dc at 10p –
He served at the pleasure of 11 U.S. Presidents… during his 55 years at the White House.
Last weekend, he passed from COVID-19.
My exclusive interview with the granddaughter of White House butler, Wilson Jerman is next! pic.twitter.com/SBiXbQLiud
— ShawnYancy (@Fox5Shawn) May 20, 2020
Garrett described her grandfather as a “loving and genuine man” who was “always about service” and “really authentic.”
The father of five “always taught us that there will be obstacles in your life, they will not disappear,” Garrett added, noting his advice to “keep pushing forward.”
Check out the interview here:
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush paid tribute to Jerman, describing him as “a lovely man.”
“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,” they said in a statement to NBC News.