Rob Jordan Was ’Close to Superman’

BERKELEY – Born in New York, Rob Jordan arrived at the University of California in 1989 as a 6-4 transfer junior from Orange Coast College ready to continue his collegiate rowing career as a heavyweight oarsman for the Golden Bears.

An avid surfer and captain of his accomplished Orange Coast team prior to Cal, Jordan charted a successful course through two years in Berkeley to emerge in 1991 with a BA in English.

About to receive his degree at commencement, he fell into a deep discussion with his future wife, a fellow English major named Elizabeth Russell. “We were milling about backstage, waiting to go out to get our diplomas,” she recalled to The New York Times. “We talked the entire time. Neither of us remember anything about graduation.”

In 1992, Rob and Elizabeth were married at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. They moved to New York City, where she became a teacher and he went became a limited partner at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. Along the way, Rob had traded his oars for golf clubs and was successful on the links, sporting a nine handicap.

When the North Tower was attacked on September, 11, 2001, Jordan died at the age of 34 along with 657 of his colleagues. It was reported that there were only two survivors that day at the World Trade Center from the Cantor Fitzgerald staff – one who was on vacation and another whose alarm did not go off as scheduled that morning.

In October of 2011, friends and family gathered again at Grace Cathedral, this time for Rob Jordan’s memorial service. Prior to the service, Orange Coast crew coach Dave Grant told The San Francisco Chronicle, “Rob came as close to being Superman as anyone I know.”

Rob Jordan left behind his wife, Elizabeth; parents, step-parents and four siblings when his life ended so abruptly.

His memory will be carried forward forever.

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