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Wilson Jerman (2020), former White House butler who served 11 presidents

by Linnea Crowther

Wilson Jerman was a former White House butler who worked for 11 presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama.

Fifty-five years in the White House

Jerman got his first job in the White House in 1957, working as a cleaner. He was promoted to butler while President John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) was in office, thanks to the strength of Jerman’s relationship with the president and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929 – 1994). He went on to serve as butler for nine more presidents, forming particularly close relationships with President George H.W. Bush (1924 – 2018) and his family, which continued when President George W. Bush followed in his father’s footsteps. After working full-time in the White House since 1957, Jerman moved to part-time status in 2003, continuing there until his retirement in 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama included a photo of Jerman in her 2018 memoir, “Becoming.”

What people said about him

Full obituary: The Hill

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