While you might not have encountered the name of Shirley Rarbrough Jordan prominently on television, it is likely that the appellation of Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the former President of the National Urban League, resonates with you.
Shirley Rabrough Jordan held a significant presence in the media fraternity, primarily due to her conspicuous appearances alongside her husband, the esteemed former President of the National Urban League, Vernon E. Jordan.
Her association with her husband, a celebrated public figure, brought her under the media’s watchful eye, just like other celebrity relatives who find their lives both embraced and secluded from the public gaze. Despite their preference for privacy, the influence and prominence of their well-known kin often prevent them from leading entirely secluded lives.
Beyond her role as Mrs. Jordan, Shirley Yarbrough Jordan was an individual of distinctive character and a separate identity, apart from being a wife. Until she was afflicted with sclerosis, she served as a supervisor and caseworker at Atlanta’s Fulton County Department of Welfare until 1965.
A graduate of Harvard University, Shirley was a woman of exceptional caliber and charisma. Tragically, she faced the severe and debilitating condition known as multiple sclerosis, which gradually curtailed her bodily functions, impacting her life profoundly.
Shirley was renowned for actively engaging in social and community organizations in her region, and she dedicated herself to advocating for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, providing support and encouragement to fellow survivors and patients.
She embraced her calling to empower women, fostering their autonomy and equal standing with men. Her commitment to this cause found expression in her written works, as she authored articles for esteemed publications such as Good Housekeeping and Ebony, detailing her experiences and struggles with the disease.
In the annals of Shirley’s familial history, she leaves behind a legacy cherished by her husband, Vernon, with whom she enjoyed a long and fulfilling life. Tragically, Shirley Yarbrough Jordan passed away in 1985, after valiantly battling sclerosis for years.
Her departure left behind a daughter, two devoted parents, and a dear sister, each touched by her grace and presence.