Married James Raymond Jordan (a businessman; died July 23, 1993); children: James Ronald, Deloris E., Larry, Michael, Roslyn M. Religion: Christian.
Author, philanthropist, and motivational speaker. Michael Jordan Foundation, founder; James R. Jordan Foundation, president; Nairobi Women and Children's Hospital, member of board; De'Laro, Inc./Family First, founder and president. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration National Demand Reduction Advisory Council, member, 2002—.
Family Resilience Award, University of Chicago Center for Family Health, 1998; Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award, 1999; Black Harvest Film Festival Board established the Deloris Jordan Humanitarian Award in her honor, 2002; Clinton Global Initiative Award, 2005, for work in Kenya; numerous other awards.
Family First: Winning the Parenting Game, Harper-SanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
In My Family's Shadow, Jordan Signature Publishing, 2001.
(With Roslyn M. Jordan) Did I Tell You I Love You Today?, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Roslyn M. Jordan) Michael's Golden Rules, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.
Count Your Blessings, illustrated by James Ransome, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2009.
Deloris Jordan, the mother of NBA basketball superstar Michael Jordan, joined daughter Roslyn M. Jordan to create several inspirational books for young children, all of which feature art by well-known African American illustrators. In addition, Jordan shares her experiences raising her five children in Family First: Winning the Parenting Game. "If Michael's soaring success is grounded in his family upbringing, then certainly Deloris Jordan's wisdom may be worth noting," according to Booklist contributor Lillian Lewis.
Both Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream and Michael's Golden Rules contain detailed illustrations by artist Kadir Nelson. Described by Booklist reviewer Denia Hester as "an inspirational tale," Salt in His Shoes finds a young Michael Jordan worried that he will never grow tall enough to become a professional basketball player. The encouragement of family members helps the boy see that, rather than height, hard work and determination—along with a large helping of patience—will be the means to achieve success. However, Michael's concerns are addressed too when his mom offers a folk remedy to cure shortness: put salt in your shoes and say a prayer every night. Nelson's "animated" paintings for Salt in His Shoes are "rendered in a cartoon style that is informal yet polished," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly. The mother-and-daughter writing team provides "authoritative insight" into Jordan's "boyhood spunk as well as reassurance to young athletes impatient for a growth spurt," the critic added.
Best friends Jonathan and Michael are dedicated to their baseball team, the Badgers in Michael's Golden Rules. However, during a lackluster season, Jonathan's enthusiasm starts to flag due to his undeveloped skills as a player. Michael's uncle Jack, a former college player, shares his ten golden rules of the game, helping Jonathan realize what being a true winner is all about. Although School Library Journal contributor Barbara Katz found the book's dialogue somewhat lackluster, she added that "Nelson's illustrations are stunningly realistic and powerful." In Booklist Julie Cummins recommended Michael's Golden Rules as "ideal for reading to a group of baseball fans."
Did I Tell You I Love You Today? features large-format paintings by Missouri-based artist and musician Shane W. Evans. Geared for younger readers, the book's simple text describes a mother's efforts to ensure the health and safety of her young son as he goes about his day. From beginning with a healthy breakfast, to offering a nighttime prayer, each of her actions translates into an act of unconditional love, in the Jordans' rhyming tale. In School Library Journal Tracy Bell wrote that Evans's "vibrant" illustrations reflect the "playful, affectionate relationship between mother and child" that is central to the simple text, and a Kirkus Reviews contributor called Did I Tell You I Love You Today? a "tender read-aloud" that many families will adopt as "an often-repeated bedtime ritual for the very young."
Discussing her role as the mother of a high-profile and highly successful family, Jordan explained to Ebony interviewer Lynn Norment that her children are successful not because of their careers but because of their ability to make wise decisions, their personal contentment, and their desire to make a positive contribution to society. "You find people who have all the money in the world, and they are not happy," Jordan explained. "So I think that every day we are able to work and be happy and be comfortable in our environment and make a difference in the world, we are successful. I always wanted my children to feel that there's nobody out there better than they are, that there's nothing you can't achieve if you work hard for it. These are the things we must teach children at home."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jordan, Deloris, Family First: Winning the Parenting Game, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
Jordan, Deloris E., In My Family's Shadow, Jordan Signature Publishing), 2001.
Booklist, March 15, 1996, Lillian Lewis, review of Family First, p. 1218; February 1, 2001, Denia Hester, review of Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream, p. 1056; March 1, 2007, Julie Cummins, review of Michael's Golden Rules, p. 88.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization Online, June, 2006, Owen Dyer, "In Search of a Sustainable Philanthropy," profile.
Ebony, May, 1997, Lynn Norment, "Michael's Mom: ‘We Didn't Set Out to Raise a Superstar,’" p. 150.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of Did I Tell You I Love You Today?, p. 1203; December 1, 2006, review of Michael's Golden Rules, p. 1222.
Publishers Weekly, November 13, 2000, review of Salt in His Shoes, p. 103; December 6, 2004, review of Did I Tell You I Love You Today?, p. 58; January 8, 2007, review of Michael's Golden Rules, p. 50.
School Library Journal, June, 2001, Jeffrey A. French, review of Salt in His Shoes, p. 121; December, 2004, Tracy Bell, review of Did I Tell You I Love You Today?, p. 112; March, 2007, Barbara Katz, review of Michael's Golden Rules, p. 174.
Deloris Jordan Home Page, http://www.delorisjordan.com (July 29, 2008).