Former White House Butler Dies From COVID-19

Carla Harmon
May 22, 2020

Tributes from former first families rolled in Thursday in response to the news that a man who was a fixture in the White House who served 11 presidents had died at the age of 91 after contracting COVID-19.

She also said that back when George H.W. Bush became president and moved into the White House, Jerman provided his services as a butler to help the Bush family settle into the White House when they first moved in.

Jerman's run at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. began under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower all the way to Barack Obama, at first working as a housekeeper, later a doorman and butler.

" She was instrumental in ensuring that that happened", his granddaughter, Jamila Garrett, told Fox 5.


According to his granddaughter, Jerman, who started his career at the White House as a cleaner, was promoted to the butler position under former President John F Kennedy after developing a good relationship with then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

"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", the Bushes said in a statement to NBC News. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.

Jerman was known to go well beyond the call of duty during his 55 years in the White House. Jerman worked with every president from Eisenhower to Obama.

Like other African-American men of his generation, he showed dignity while serving in one of the few positions that was available to him at the time, said Ohio State University's Koritha Mitchell, author of From Slave Cabins to the White House. "Our warmest condolences to his loved ones", she wrote.


It should be noted that the late dedicated worker's photo with Barack and Michelle Obama was published inside the first lady's memoir, Becoming.

Jerman leaves behind four of his five children, 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

"I want the world to remember my grandfather as someone who was really authentic", Garrett told WTTG. Always being yourself. That's what he taught our family, that's what thrives throughout our family. "And that's what we'll continue to carry on, his legacy", the granddaughter added.


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