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Top Carter aide Hamilton Jordan dead at 63

  • Story Highlights
  • Hamilton Jordan Sr. dies of cancer in Atlanta home at 63
  • Jordan became the youngest White House Chief of Staff in 1979
  • After leaving politics, Jordan worked as a writer, entrepreneur, motivational speaker
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(CNN) -- Hamilton Jordan Sr., campaign adviser and chief of staff under President Carter, died Tuesday of cancer, his family said. He was 63.

Jordan died peacefully in his Atlanta, Georgia, home surrounded by his family, according to a statement from Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit camp for children with cancer that he and his wife, Dorothy, founded in 1982.

Carter said he and his wife, Rosalynn, were "deeply saddened" by the news of Jordan's death.

"Hamilton was my closest political adviser, a trusted confidant and my friend. His judgment, insight and wisdom were excelled only by his compassion and love of our country," Carter said, according to The Associated Press.

Jordan battled four diagnoses of cancer. In 2000, he described his experience with the disease in his book, "No Such Thing as a Bad Day."

Jordan became the youngest White House chief of staff when he took the job in 1979. After leaving the White House, he went on to work as an entrepreneur, an author and a motivational speaker.

Jordan wrote about his time in the Carter administration in "Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency." He also started an NFL franchise that became the Jacksonville Jaguars and founded the Association of Tennis Professionals men's tour.

The Jordans also founded Camp Kudzu, a nonprofit camp for children with Type 1 diabetes.

Over the past decade, Jordan worked in the biotech sector as an investor and board member with a number of biomedical companies, including the Lasker Foundation and Proxima Therapeutics Inc.

Jordan founded the Georgia Cancer Coalition, a $1 billion effort organized by Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes and funded by tobacco settlement money.

At the invitation of former President George H. W. Bush, Jordan joined C-Change, a group that worked on a strategy to find a cure for cancer.

Jordan lived in Atlanta, where he remained an active member of the community until recently. In March, he spoke to the Atlanta Press Club.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

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