In 1937 Mr. Jordan graduated from Harvard with honors and headed straight for the National Broadcasting Company in New York, where he started as a page. In 1939 he was transferred to the newly formed Television Department where he worked as a property man, floor manager and, in a crisis, spare announcer and any other position that needed filling. He was part of the original station staff when NBC inaugurated the first regular TV broadcast service in the U.S. After a 4-year tour with the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII, he returned to the NBC Television Department and became a Producer/Director on numerous programs during one of the most exciting times our industry has seen. He directed the first live telecast of the NBC Symphony with Toscanini, the first live telecast from the United Nations, the first live telecast from a submarine, the first live telecast from an aircraft carrier, and the Republican, Democratic and Progressive Political Conventions from Philadelphia. He was also an accomplished writer for the network, handling genres from documentaries to dramas.
In 1948 Mr. Jordan moved to Denver, and began teaching radio, TV and film at the University of Denver. He taught television to students when there was no working TV station in Denver; so effective were his methods, that students were able not only to identify TV equipment when visiting other cities, but also describe how and why it functioned, just from having been in Mr. Jordan’s classes!
In 1952 Mr. Jordan joined John Newell and Herman Urshell to form Western Cine Service, Inc., for years the largest film-processing lab between Kansas City and L.A. He hosted “The Right to Talk” on KWGN-TV, and was appointed to the Colorado Education Television Commission in 1962 by Governor McNichols.
Mr. Jordan’s intelligence, commitment to high standards and passion for radio, television and film have influenced several generations of broadcast students, and many of our leaders and colleagues in the industry.