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Hamilton Jordan
Former Chief of Staff for Jimmy Carter
Live Web cast July 18, 2001 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT

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Battling Cancer: My Personal Journey & Our National Challenge

Though Hamilton Jordan's biggest claim to fame was his tenure as Jimmy Carter's White House Chief of Staff, his battles with three types of cancer have since driven his professional life.

Jordan has devoted the last ten years to the health sector. He now serves as board member, investor and advisor to a number of biotech companies. His bestseller, No Such Thing as a Bad Day, details his cancer bouts and he has been instrumental in putting the Georgia Cancer Coalition on the forefront of national efforts to combat the disease.

Jordan's first bestseller, Crisis, tells the story of the last year of the Carter presidency and Jordan's own role in the denouement of the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran. After successfully running Carter's 1976 campaign, Jordan moved to the White House where he was looked at as something of a brash outsider. He would wear tennis clothes to briefings and once called the national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzeznsinski, "Woody Woodpecker" because of his unruly hair.

In 1985, Jordan was diagnosed with his first cancer, lymphoma. That was followed by news he had melanoma, then prostate cancer. He chose to treat each aggressively -- and he survived. But it was in 1982 that he first became particularly active on the medical front. That year he and his wife, a pediatric oncology nurse, founded the Camp Sunshine retreat for children with cancer or leukemia. They have also begun a similar program for children with juvenile diabetes, a disease that afflicts their own daughter.

Jordan was born in Charlotte, Georgia, in 1944 but was raised in Albany. The direction of his career emerged early on and his own mother once called him "a political animal" when he was just a boy. "If he didn't run himself, he'd run his cousin," she said in the 1977 book How Jimmy Won, by Kandy Stroud. Jordan made his own unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in 1986. He then worked for a communications firm and was executive director of the Association of Tennis Professionals for three years.

Related Links:
Georgia Cancer Coalition

Camp Sunshine