Former White House butler who served 11 presidents dies after contracting coronavirus

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman- White House Staffer Who Served 11 Presidents

The former White House butler who had served through 11 different presidencies passed away from COVID-19 during the weekend of May 16, according to multiple reports.

Jerman died last Saturday at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, Va. with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus which has infected 1,621,333 with 96,363 deaths.

Jerman, aged 91, began working at the White House in 1957 under then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a cleaner, Xinhua reported citing a leading United States media outlet.

Jenna Bush, the co-host of NBC's "Today with Hoda & Jenna", honored Jerman at the beginning of Thursday's show and relayed a statement from her parents, who called him "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.

"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.

Ohio State University's Koritha Mitchell, author of From Slave Cabins to the White House, said that Mr Jerman was seen as an important figure in the history of African Americans in U.S. political life.

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She said it wasn't until former President John F. Kennedy came into office in the 1960s that her grandfather was promoted to butler after building a rapport with the first couple.

Jerman retired from his White House position in 2012.

She said that he taught his family to "always be yourself" and that is "what we will continue to carry on through his legacy". We were lucky to have known him. "Our warmest condolences to his loved ones", Hillary Clinton tweeted.

"Jackie O actually promoted him to a butler because of the relationship".

A photo of Jerman standing in an elevator with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama was included in the former first lady's memoir, "Becoming".

Garrett said her grandfather started in the White House as a cleaner under the administration of Dwight D Eisenhower.

When he left his position in 2012 at the age of 83, Mr Jerman was honoured by Mr Obama with a series of plaques, for each of the 11 presidents he had served.

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