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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Roger Gant, July 17, 1987. Interview C-0127. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Jordan's patience and business skills helped him succeed in industry and politics

Gant contrasts the business philosophies used by his father and Everett Jordan. Jordan seemed more committed to making profitable sales and popular products. The patience that helped him succeed as a business man also helped him relate to his constituency as a senator.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Roger Gant, July 17, 1987. Interview C-0127. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BEN BULLA:
Let's discuss Everett Jordan as a person. Assume I don't know him;describe him to me please.
ROGER GANT:
I'm sure that my impressions are not like anybody else's precisely and reflect comparisons in contrast to my own upbringing. Everett, from a business viewpoint believed in business success through smart selling, contrasted to my father who of course recognized that you had to sell your product at a profit, but my father emphasized saving money in purchasing and in manufacturing efficiency and that kind of thing. Everett realized that if you could sell your product for more a pound that was an easier route to bigger profits than trying to take a pound out of the cost usually. And he recognized that steady running; if you could get a customer who could use good volume on a regular continuous basis, that you could effect economies of manufacturing that you never could if you were trying to switch products all the time. The philosophies under which businesses grow vary with the business a great deal I think and Everett Jordan's business was one of making commodity products which was different from the business background that I had where practically every thing made at Glen Raven was a specialty items. It was interesting to see the two different paths of success succeed, and to see the way Everett ran his business very successfully, but quite differently from the way our business was always run. It was very interesting. Everett Jordan had great patience, and I guess that's a sign of maturity, I don't guess you are mature until you have patience. But after he got into politics people would call him every free moment he had at home. Somebody would be calling him on the telephone with sometimes big important issues to discuss, but most of the time, fairly petty, unimportant issues, and he never lost patience with them. Even those who were real pests and habitual callers about one thing and another. He never indicated any exasperation or impatience when he talked to them either in person or on the phone. A lot of people would come to the house to see him and interrupt him at lunch or supper or anytime of day, which would have infuriated me, but he never lost his cool, never indicated that it was disturbing him a bit, and felt it was a part of his job as a representative in Washington to listen to their problems and try to help solve them. He was always available for any constituent who needed to get a social security check reissued or sent to another address, or try to locate a service man in Germany, or matters that should have been corrected through some other agency of the government. If they came to him he was always happy to try to get the constituents problems solved. Great patience.