'A Journal for Jordan'
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Here's the Real-Life Story That Inspired Denzel Washington's 'A Journal for Jordan'

Chris Barilla - Author
By

Dec. 25 2021, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

If you've been keeping up with what's new in the film world as of late, then odds are that you're at least somewhat familiar with A Journal for Jordan, the Denzel Washington-directed film starring Michael B. Jordan set to premiere on Dec. 25, 2021. Based on the 2008 book of the same name by Dana Canedy, A Journal for Jordan is a gripping tale of a father's unique expression of love toward his wife and son in the face of truly adverse circumstances.

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A lot of the events depicted in the book (and now the film) are highly emotional, gut-wrenching, and poke at our deepest feelings about family and its importance in life. With all of that being said, is A Journal for Jordan based on a true story? Keep reading for a complete breakdown of how the book and film both came to be.

'A Journal for Jordan'
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment
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Is 'A Journal for Jordan' based on a true story?

It started off as an article before becoming a critically-acclaimed memoir. Now, it's finally a feature film directed by Denzel. The story of A Journal for Jordan has evolved on many occasions. However, one thing that remains constant is just how true the story actually is.

Indeed, A Journal for Jordan is based on the true events of 1st Sergeant Charles Monroe King, his wife Dana, and their son, Jordan.

The original article that Dana penned for The New York Times only offered an abridged look at the story, but her eventual memoir and the film it spawned both tell a much more complete tale.

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Both the book and film explain how Charles and Dana met in her hometown of Radcliff, Ky. They quickly fall for each other and begin a life together, something that was altered by Charles' military service.

With the encouragement of Dana, Charles wrote what would become a 200-page journal for his eventual son full of advice and memories in the eventuality that something happens to him while he's deployed. Unfortunately, Charles and Dana's foresight was 20/20 in that regard, as that's exactly what happened.

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'A Journal for Jordan'
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

In 2006, while deployed in Iraq, an improvised explosive device detonated near Charles' armored vehicle, killing him. Tragically, he was only one month away from completing his tour of duty and had never met his then 6-month-old son, born while he was overseas.

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One year after those events transpired, Dana courageously recounted her family's story in The New York Times. Then in 2008, she decided to expand on the article's abridged version of it all by writing A Journal for Jordan.

The 2021 film adaptation of the book sees Michael B. Jordan as Charles, Chanté Adams as Dana, and Jalon Christian as Jordan.

Be sure to check out the story's latest incarnation in the film version of A Journal for Jordan premiering in theaters on Dec. 25, 2021.

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