Updated: Feb 6
Jordan was the first African American woman elected to the Texas Senate. For more than 30 years, Miss Jordan actively contributed by writing and speaking about events that were critical in American society. In 1994, President William Clinton awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the highest award to a civilian in the country. She was affectionately known as BJ and will be remembered as a powerful leader, dynamic politician, and riveting orator.
Barbara Jordan was also the first LGBTQ+ woman in Congress. Jordan's partner of approximately twenty years was Nancy Earl. Issues with Leukemia and other health problems prevented President Clinton from nominating BJ to the US Supreme Court. Jordan later died of complications from pneumonia in January 1996 in Austin, TX at the age of 59.