It was way back in 1957 when Wilson Roosevelt Jerman began his employment at the White House. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and Jerman was brought on staff as a cleaner. When John F. Kennedy took office, CNN reports that Wilson Roosevelt Jerman was moved to the position of butler after the President’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, made sure that he was promoted. Jerman would go on to serve under Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. The well-known White House staffer would retire in 2012 as Obama’s maître d’.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama shared a statement about Jerman’s passing on Thursday (May 21). “With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of First Families, including ours,” she stated. “His service 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. We were lucky to have known him. Barack and I send our sincerest love and prayers to his family.”
Jerman’s granddaughter, Shanta Taylor Gay, told CNN that no matter what political party the president belonged to, her grandfather was committed to executing his job with excellence. He’d suffered health setbacks in the last decade and finally succumbed to COVID-19 at 91-years-old.