parking lot press conference

Former ATP CEO Jordan Dies

ATLANTA – Hamilton Jordan, the former CEO of the ATP Tour and the architect of the ATP’s transformation from a player union to administrator of the men’s tour in 1990, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

Jordan, 63, who also served as Chief of Staff to President Jimmy Carter, died at his home in Atlanta about 7:30 p.m., said Gerald Rafshoon, who was Carter’s chief of communications.

“He was a great strategist. He just couldn’t strategize his way out of this,” Rafshoon said from his home in Washington.

Jordan served as the top man at the ATP from 1987 to 1990 and was best known for instrumenting the famed “parking lot press conference” at the 1988 US Open where the ATP players declared in a press conference held in the parking lot of the USTA National Tennis Center that they were breaking off from the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council to start their own tour in 1990 – the modern-day ATP Tour.

Jordan’s battle with cancer began 22 years ago, when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, followed by bouts with melanoma and prostate cancer.

Rafshoon said a memorial service was planned Friday at The Carter Center in Atlanta and Carter would attend.

Carter said in a statement that he and his wife, Rosalynn, “are deeply saddened.”

“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.”

Jordan was born in Charlotte, N.C., in 1944 and raised in Albany, Ga. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a political science degree in 1967 and became a key adviser to Carter during the 1976 presidential campaign.