17 Vernon Jordan Quotes from the Civil Rights Leader

Vernon Eulion Jordan, born in 1935, was a distinguished civil rights leader, lawyer and presidential advisor.

Navigating the segregated South, he graduated from DePauw University and Howard University Law School.

Joining civil rights litigation, he helped facilitate the first black students’ admission to the University of Georgia.

His work with the NAACP and Southern Regional Council amplified voter registration and boycotts against discriminatory hiring.


President Lyndon B. Johnson acknowledged his efforts and he later served as the director of the United Negro College Fund and president of the National Urban League.

Surviving an assassination attempt in 1980, Jordan transitioned to legal counsel, advising Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and later his presidential transition.

Related: Stokely Carmichael Quotes from the Civil Rights Leader

Jordan wrote two books, received numerous awards and later worked in investment banking.

He passed away in 2021, aged 85.

Here is a best collection of quotes by Vernon Jordan.

Top 5 Vernon Jordan Quotes


September 11 stands on its own as a terrible tragedy. ~ Vernon Jordan.


The last job I applied for was to be a bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority in 1957. ~ Vernon Jordan.


Terrorism is not new to black people. ~ Vernon Jordan.


You have to be careful how you’re using the word boycott. ~ Vernon Jordan.


My mother was the president of the PTA at every school I attended. ~ Vernon Jordan.

Famous Vernon Jordan Quotes

Black people have done wonderful things for this country (saved its soul, in fact), and we have been an example to the world in the process. That should never be forgotten, even as we continue to press ahead, in our many and varied ways, toward our future. If we did so much when we had so little, think of what we can do now that we have so much more. ~ Vernon Jordan.


You’re in love, that’s what your problem is. ~ Vernon Jordan.

Every company, every boardroom in which I sit, has a plan, and they have objectives, goals, and a process. And to make it work, the pressure and incentive have to come from the top. ~ Vernon Jordan.

A lot of companies make diversity a part of the performance goals against which an executive gets paid. Just as you have to make a certain sales number, you have to make a diversity number to get your bonus. ~ Vernon Jordan.


Where institutions in corporate America have, in fact, committed, you see the results. And where there is no commitment, the results are bad. ~ Vernon Jordan.

Best Vernon Jordan Quotes

I had a sense of what leadership meant and what it could do for you. So am I surprised that I am sitting up here on the 62nd floor of Rockefeller Plaza? No. ~ Vernon Jordan.

What I know about this world is white people will take care of themselves. And what I have learned is that if you are where they are on an equal basis, they cannot take care of themselves without taking care of you. ~ Vernon Jordan.


I’m here because I stand on many, many shoulders, and that’s true of every black person I know who has achieved. ~ Vernon Jordan.

My view on all this business about race is never to get angry, no, but to get even. You don’t take it out in anger; you take it out in achievement. ~ Vernon Jordan.

But there will come a time and a place to give back, and each individual will recognize that time and place. ~ Vernon Jordan.

I want to say absolutely and unequivocally that Ms. Lewinsky told me in no uncertain terms that she did not have a sexual relationship with the president. At no time did I ever say, suggest or intimate to her that she should lie. ~ Vernon Jordan.

I said, “Mr. President, if there are policies of yours with which I disagree, they will be addressed. From time to time you may not like what I say, or how or where I say it. I hope we can work through our differences when those occasions arise. ~ Vernon Jordan.

So these were the 17 popular quotes about Vernon Jordan.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on James Connolly quotes and Fred Korematsu quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar