A former White House employee who served 11 different presidents as a butler, died at the age of 91 after contracting COVID-19, his granddaughter told Fox 5 DC.
Wilson Roosevelt Jerman began working at the White House in 1957 as a cleaner under then-President Dwight Eisenhower. He was later promoted during the Kennedy Administration and went on to serve as a butler for the next few decades, eventually working for 11 presidents in total.
“Jackie O actually promoted him to a butler because of the relationship,” his granddaughter Jamila Garrett told the outlet. “She was instrumental in ensuring that that happened.”
In a statement, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush remembered the White House's longest-serving employee.
“He was a lovely man,” the Bushes said. “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.”
Jerman eventually retired from his job in 2012 under President Barack Obama.
“I want the world to remember my grandfather as someone who was really authentic,” Garrett said. “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.”
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