Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was an American lawyer, educator and politician who was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. A Democrat, she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives. She was best known for her eloquent opening statement at the House Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process against Richard Nixon, and as the first African-American as well as the first woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. She was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1978 to 1980. She was the first African-American woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
Jordan's work as chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which recommended reducing legal immigration by about one-third, is frequently cited by American immigration restrictionists.
Barbara Charline Jordan
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Texas's 18th district
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
|Preceded by||Bob Price|
|Succeeded by||Mickey Leland|
|Member of the Texas Senate|
from the 11th district
January 10, 1967 – January 3, 1973
|Preceded by||Bill Moore|
|Succeeded by||Chet Brooks|
Barbara Charline Jordan
February 21, 1936
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Died||January 17, 1996 (aged 59)|
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Domestic partner||Nancy Earl (late 1960s–1996)|
|Education||Texas Southern University (BA)|
Boston University (LLB)
Barbara Charline Jordan was born in Houston, Texas's Fifth Ward. Jordan's childhood was centered on church life. Her mother was Arlyne Patten Jordan, a teacher in the church, and her father was Benjamin Jordan, a Baptist preacher. Barbara Jordan was the youngest of three children, with siblings Rose Mary Jordan McGowan and Bennie Jordan Creswell (1933–2000). Jordan attended Roberson Elementary School. She graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1952 with honors.
Jordan credited a speech she heard in her high school years by Edith S. Sampson with inspiring her to become an attorney. Because of segregation, she could not attend The University of Texas at Austin and instead chose Texas Southern University, an historically-black institution, majoring in political science and history. At Texas Southern University, Jordan was a national champion debater, defeating opponents from Yale and Brown and tying Harvard University. She graduated magna cum laude in 1956. At Texas Southern University, she pledged Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She attended Boston University School of Law, graduating in 1959.
Jordan campaigned unsuccessfully in 1962 and 1964 for the Texas House of Representatives. She won a seat in the Texas Senate in 1966, becoming the first African-American state senator since 1883 and the first black woman to serve in that body. Re-elected to a full term in the Texas Senate in 1968, she served until 1972. She was the first African-American female to serve as president pro tem of the state senate and served one day, June 10, 1972, as acting governor of Texas. To date Jordan is the only African-American woman to serve as governor of a state (excluding lieutenant governors). During her time in the Texas Legislature, Jordan sponsored or cosponsored some 70 bills.
In 1972, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman elected in her own right to represent Texas in the House. She received extensive support from former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who helped her secure a position on the House Judiciary Committee. In 1974, she made an influential televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, Johnson's successor as President. In 1975, she was appointed by Carl Albert, then Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
In 1976, Jordan, mentioned as a possible running mate to Jimmy Carter of Georgia, became instead the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Despite not being a candidate, Jordan received one delegate vote (0.03%) for President at the Convention.
Jordan retired from politics in 1979 and became an adjunct professor teaching ethics at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She was again a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.
In 1994, Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and The NAACP presented her with the Spingarn Medal. She was honored many times and was given over 20 honorary degrees from institutions across the country, including Harvard and Princeton, and was elected to the Texas and National Women's Halls of Fame.
On July 25, 1974, Jordan delivered a 15-minute televised speech in front of the members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. She presented an opening speech during the hearings that were part of the impeachment process against Richard Nixon. This speech is thought to be one of the best speeches of the 20th century. Throughout her speech, Jordan strongly stood by the Constitution of the United States. She defended the checks and balances system, which was set in place to inhibit any politician from abusing their power. Jordan never flat out said that she wanted Nixon impeached, but rather subtly and cleverly implied her thoughts. She simply stated facts that proved Nixon to be untrustworthy and heavily involved in illegal situations,  and quoted the drafters of the Constitution to argue that actions like Nixon's during the scandal corresponded with their understanding of impeachable offenses. She protested that the Watergate scandal will forever ruin the trust American citizens have for their government. This powerful and influential statement earned Jordan national praise for her rhetoric, morals, and wisdom.
Jordan supported the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, legislation that required banks to lend and make services available to underserved poor and minority communities. She supported the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expansion of that act to cover language minorities; this extended protection to Hispanics in Texas and was opposed by Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and Secretary of State Mark White. She also authored an act that ended federal authorization of price fixing by manufacturers. During Jordan's tenure as a Congresswoman she sponsored or cosponsored over 300 bills or resolutions, several of which are still in effect today as law.
From 1994 until her death, Jordan chaired the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. The commission recommended that total immigration be cut by one-third to approximately 550,000 per year. The commission supported increasing enforcement against illegal immigrants and their employers, eliminating visa preferences for siblings and adult children of U.S. citizens, and ending unskilled immigration except for refugees and nuclear families. The commission's report to Congress said that it was "a right and responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest", concluded that "legal immigration has strengthened and can continue to strengthen this country" and "decrie[d] hostility and discrimination against immigrants as antithetical to the traditions and interests of the country." The commission recommended that the United States reduce the number of refugees admitted annually to 50,000 (this level would be lifted during emergencies).
Jordan's companion of approximately twenty years was Nancy Earl, an educational psychologist, whom she met on a camping trip in the late 1960s. Earl was an occasional speech writer for Jordan, and later was a caregiver when Jordan began to suffer from multiple sclerosis in 1973. Considerable speculation exists as to Jordan's sexuality and the nature of her and Earl's relationship, something that neither Jordan nor Earl are known to have addressed, recorded or shared with others to date. In the KUT radio documentary Rediscovering Barbara Jordan, President Bill Clinton said that he had wanted to nominate Jordan for the United States Supreme Court, but by the time he could do so, Jordan's health problems prevented him from nominating her. Jordan later also suffered from leukemia.
In 1988, Jordan nearly drowned in her backyard swimming pool while doing physical therapy, but she was saved by Earl who found her floating in the pool and revived her.
Jordan died at the age of 59 due to complications from pneumonia on January 17, 1996, in Austin, Texas.
Her 1976 Democratic National Convention keynote address, the first major convention keynote speech ever by a woman and the first by an African American, was listed as #5 in American Rhetoric's Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century (listed by rank).
A boulevard in central Austin is named after Jordan. Several schools bear her name, including an elementary school in Odessa, Texas, and Austin, Texas, Barbara Jordan Early College Prep School, an elementary school in Richmond, Texas, Barbara C. Jordan Intermediate School, a middle school in Cibolo, Texas, and Barbara Jordan High School in Houston and The Barbara Jordan Institute for Policy Research at her undergraduate alma mater Texas Southern University. The Kaiser Family Foundation currently operates the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars, a fellowship designed for people of color who are college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates as a summer experience working in a congressional office.
In 2000, the Jordan/Rustin Coalition (JRC) was created in Jordan's honor. The organization mobilized gay and lesbian African Americans to aid in the passage of marriage equality in the state of California. Along with Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and close confidante of Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Jordan is remembered for her advocacy of progressive politics. According to its website, "the mission [of the JRC] is to empower Black same-gender loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and families in Greater Los Angeles, to promote equal marriage rights and to advocate for fair treatment of everyone without regard to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression."
On March 27, 2000, a play based on Jordan's life premiered at the Victory Garden Theater in Chicago, Illinois. Titled, "Voice of Good Hope", Kristine Thatcher's biographical evocation of Jordan's life played in theaters from San Francisco to New York.
On April 24, 2009, a statue of Barbara Jordan was unveiled at the University of Texas at Austin, where Jordan taught at the time of her death. The Barbara Jordan statue campaign was paid for by a student fee increase approved by the University of Texas Board of Regents. The effort was originally spearheaded by the 2002–2003 Tappee class of the Texas Orange Jackets, the "oldest women's organization at the University" (of Texas at Austin).
In 2011, actor/playwright Jade Esteban Estrada portrayed Jordan in the solo musical comedy ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 5 which includes the song "Nancy's Eyes" sung by the character of Jordan with music and lyrics by Estrada.
The Barbara Jordan Media Awards are given annually to media professionals and students who "have produced material for the public which accurately and positively reports on individuals with disabilities, using People First language and respectful depictions".
The Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award is presented by Texas Southern University’s School of Public Affairs and School of Law. Its first recipient was former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on June 4, 2015.
[...] When she died, in 1996, her burial in the Texas State Cemetery marked yet another first: she was the first black woman interred there. [...]
| Member of the Texas Senate
from the 11th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 18th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Keynote Speaker of the Democratic National Convention
Served alongside: John Glenn
| Keynote Speaker of the Democratic National Convention
Served alongside: Bill Bradley, Zell Miller
The 1976 Democratic National Convention met at Madison Square Garden in New York City, from July 12 to July 15, 1976. The assembled United States Democratic Party delegates at the convention nominated former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia for President and Senator Walter Mondale of Minnesota for Vice President. John Glenn and Barbara Jordan gave the keynote addresses. Jordan's keynote address made her the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. It was listed as #5 in American Rhetoric's Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century (listed by rank). The convention was the first in New York City since the 103-ballot 1924 convention.
By the time the convention opened Carter already had more than enough delegates to clinch the nomination, and so the major emphasis at the convention was to create an appearance of party unity, which had been lacking in the 1968 and 1972 Democratic Conventions. Carter easily won the nomination on the first ballot. He then chose Mondale, a liberal and a protégé of Hubert Humphrey, as his running mate.
The Carter-Mondale ticket went on to win the 1976 presidential election on November 2.
The convention is also notable for the fact that congresswoman Lindy Boggs, who presided over it, thus became the first woman to preside over a national political convention.1979 Australian Open
The 1979 Australian Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor grass courts at the Kooyong Stadium in Melbourne in Victoria in Australia and was held from 24 December 1979 through 2 January 1980. It was the 68th edition of the Australian Open and the fourth Grand Slam tournament of the year. The singles titles were won by Argentinian Guillermo Vilas and American Barbara Jordan.1979 Australian Open – Women's Singles
Fifth-seeded Barbara Jordan defeated Sharon Walsh 6–3, 6–3 in the final to win the Women's Singles title at the 1979 Australian Open.
This was Jordan's first tour-level title; the next time that a woman would score her first tour win at a Grand Slam event would not come until Jeļena Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open.This was the last time where two first time Slam finalists meet each other until the 2004 French Open.Until the 2017 French Open, this would be the last Grand Slam event that none of the former Grand Slam champions would reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal.1983 French Open – Mixed Doubles
The Mixed Doubles tournament at the 1983 French Open was held from 23 May until 5 June 1983 on the outdoor clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. Barbara Jordan and Eliot Teltscher won the title, defeating Leslie Allen and Charles Strode in the final.1983 Virginia Slims of Indianapolis – Doubles
Lea Antonoplis and Barbara Jordan won in the final 5–7, 6–4, 7–5 against Rosalyn Fairbank and Candy Reynolds.1983 Virginia Slims of Pennsylvania – Doubles
Lea Antonoplis and Barbara Jordan were the defending champions and won in the final 6–3, 6–4 against Sherry Acker and Ann Henricksson.1985 Wimbledon Championships – Women's Singles Qualifying
Players and pairs who neither have high enough rankings nor receive wild cards may participate in a qualifying tournament held one week before the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships.Austin–Bergstrom International Airport
Austin–Bergstrom International Airport or ABIA (IATA: AUS, ICAO: KAUS, FAA LID: AUS, formerly BSM) is a Class C international airport located in Austin, Texas, United States (the capital of Texas), and serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area, the 31st-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Downtown Austin, it covers 4,242 acres (1,717 ha) and has two runways and three helipads. It is on the site of what was Bergstrom Air Force Base. The airport and Air Force base were named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served with the 19th Bombardment Group. The airport replaced Robert Mueller Municipal Airport as Austin's main airport.
A total of 15,819,912 passengers traveled through the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport in 2018. The airport is now the 34th busiest airport for total passengers in the United States, and is the busiest airport in Texas outside of Dallas–Fort Worth or Houston. Currently, there are over 250 daily arrivals and 260 daily departures on the typical weekday to 76 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.Barbara Jordan (Wolfe, 2002)
Bruce Wolfe's bronze statue of Barbara Jordan at the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, was erected in 2002.Barbara Jordan (Wolfe, 2009)
Bruce Wolfe's statue of Barbara Jordan on the University of Texas at Austin campus was erected in 2009.Barbara Jordan (poet)
Barbara Jordan (born 1949) is an American poet.Barbara Jordan (tennis)
Barbara Jordan (born April 2, 1957) is a former professional female tennis player from the United States who won the 1979 Australian Open singles title.
Jordan also won the mixed doubles title at the 1983 French Open with Eliot Teltscher. Jordan was a three-time All-American at Stanford University, where she obtained her degree in economics in three years. She won the 1978 AIAW College National doubles with sister Kathy Jordan in 1978. Jordan made her first appearance on the (WTA) computer in August 1977 at No. 95. She was a five-time member of WTA board of directors as well as served as chairman of the tournament committee in 1980. Jordan also won the USTA under 21-National Championship in 1978 in singles and doubles. She went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from UCLA.Barbara Jordan - Mickey Leland School Of Public Affairs
The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, also referred to as BJMLSPA, is the public policy school within Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas, United States. For students interested in formulating and shaping public policy, the School offers many opportunities for learning, research, professional development, community partnerships, and public engagement. Located in Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, the BJMLSPA offers opportunities for students to study, observe, and interact with policymakers and decision makers, test new ideas, develop new models, and implement solution-driven strategies.Barbara Jordan Career Center
Barbara Jordan Career Center, formerly Barbara Jordan High School for Careers, is a public vocational school center at 5800 Eastex Freeway (U.S. Highway 59) in Houston, Texas, United States. It is a part of the Houston Independent School District. Prior to July 1, 2018 the school served as its own self-contained secondary school. Since June 2018, Jordan is a regional career education hub for students enrolled at other HISD high schools. When it was its own high school it had a program for high school-aged deaf pupils.
The center was named after female politician Barbara Jordan.Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars
Known informally at the BJ scholars, this summer fellowship is sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The program brings talented African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander college seniors and recent graduates to Washington, D.C., where they are placed in congressional offices and learn about health policy. Through the nine-week program, scholars gain knowledge about federal legislative procedure and health policy issues, while further developing their critical thinking and leadership skills. In addition to gaining experience in a congressional office, Scholars participate in seminars and site visits to augment their knowledge of health care issues, and write and present a health policy research memo.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation established the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program at Howard University to honor the legacy of former Foundation Trustee and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and to expand the pool of students of color interested in the field of health policy. As a member of the United States Congress and the Texas State Legislature, Barbara Jordan's distinguished career was exemplified by her tireless advocacy of behalf of vulnerable populations. She brought this passion to her work, inspiring others to become involved in addressing challenging health policy issues.Lea Antonoplis
Lea Antonoplis (born January 20, 1959) is a former professional tennis player who won the Wimbledon Girls' Singles in 1977 and four WTA doubles titles.Sharon Walsh
Sharon Walsh-Arnold (née Walsh; born February 24, 1952) is a former professional tennis player from the United States.
Walsh enjoyed a long career by modern standards, playing her first Grand Slam singles event in 1969 and her last Grand Slam doubles match in 1990. She was a finalist at the 1979 Australian Open where she lost to Barbara Jordan. She reached the 4th round of the 1981 US Open and the final of the doubles there the following year with Barbara Potter. She did not claim a WTA Tour singles title, although she had some success against the top players, beating Hana Mandlíková in both their encounters (Christchurch 1978 and Australian Open 1983). She achieved her highest singles ranking of 22 in 1982, but was more regarded as a doubles player, winning 30 titles in all.
Walsh married Michael H. Pete, on the 20th of April 1985, in Sausalito, California. She competed as Sharon Walsh-Pete as from May 1985. Currently(2011) she is married to Steve Arnold and lives in Colorado Springs where she is a tennis teacher since 2001.Texas's 18th congressional district
Texas District 18 of the United States House of Representatives is a Congressional district that serves much of inner city Houston and the surrounding area. It has been the Downtown Houston district since 1972. The current Representative from District 18 is Sheila Jackson Lee.
It was held by Barbara Jordan, the first black woman elected to Congress from the South (in 1972), who was praised by many for her powerful presence in that body, and in particular, for her oratory skills.Since the district was moved to Houston in 1972, it has voted for a Democrat in every presidential election. The district gave George McGovern 69% in 1972 and Walter Mondale 72% in 1984.Texas Southern University
Texas Southern University (shortened to Texas Southern or simply TSU) is a public historically black university (HBCU) in Houston, Texas. The university was established in 1927 as the Houston Colored Junior College. It developed through its private college phase as the four-year Houston Colored College. On March 3, 1947, the state declared this to be the first state university in Houston; it was renamed Texas State University for Negroes. In 1951, the name changed to Texas Southern University.
Texas Southern University is one of the largest and most comprehensive HBCUs in the nation. The university has over 10,000 students enrolled and offers 100+ academic programs and 80+ student organizations. TSU is one of only four independent public universities in Texas (those not affiliated with any of Texas' six public university systems) and the only HBCU in Texas recognized as one of "America's Top Colleges" by Forbes magazine. TSU is a leading producer of college degrees to African Americans and Hispanics in Texas and ranks fourth in the United States in doctoral and professional degrees conferred to African Americans. The university is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.Dr. Waldivia Ardlaw of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston wrote that the university serves as "the cultural and community center of" the Third Ward area where it is located, in addition to being its university. Also, the university serves as a notable economic resource for Greater Houston, contributing over $500 million to the region's gross sales and being directly and indirectly responsible for over 3,000 jobs.Texas Southern University intercollegiate sports teams, collectively known as the Tigers, compete in NCAA Division I and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The university recruits nationwide for its Ocean of Soul marching band.