Is A Journal for Jordan’s Charles Monroe King Based on a Real Person?

Image Credit: David Lee/Columbia Pictures

Spearheaded by actor and director Denzel Washington and starring talents like Michael B. Jordan, Chanté Adams, and Jalon Christian, ‘A Journal for Jordan,’ recounts a tale of passion and heartbreak. Based on Dana Canedy’s memoir titled ‘A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor,’ the movie wonderfully chronicles the heartwrenching love story of Dana and her fiance, 1st Sergeant Charles Monroe King. With Dana being an actual person, fans have been curious to know if Charles Monroe King existed in real life. Well, we come bearing answers!

Is Charles Monroe King a Real Person?

Yes, Charles Monroe King was very much a real person, and the story recounted in ‘A Journal for Jordan,’ is true. Dana Canedy never thought she would end up loving or even planning a family with someone like Charles. Reports recall how he was not the man she had dreamt of as her child’s father, yet, despite their many differences, the couple loved each other as fiercely and passionately as possible. Their bond was one of a kind, and the movie does an excellent job of offering a sneak-peek into Dana and Charles’ inspirational real-life relationship.

Image Credit: Dana Canedy/The New York Times

Charles Monroe King was a First Sergeant in the United States Army, and back in the early to mid-2000s, Dana knew he could be called to serve in Iraq at a moment’s notice. Yet, the couple planned on having a child, and Dana was already pregnant when Charles had to hop on a plane and depart for Iraq in December 2005.

Dana, a celebrated journalist in the New York Times back then, later recounted how her fiance prepared her and their apartment for the little one’s arrival before flying off to lead his men into combat. With Iraq being an active war zone, there was no guarantee of Charles’ safety, and thus, fearing the worst, he began filling a journal with love and advice for his son while he was still in New York.

Shockingly, Charles Monroe King had just a month left on his deployment when he was killed in combat by a stray IED on October 14, 2006. Charles never lived to become the father he wished to be, and thus, the journal, which was written in three countries, namely Kuwait, Iraq, and the United States, became a voice that spoke to his son from beyond the grave.

Left alone with her son and mourning her fiance, Dana put her grief into words and penned down a moving article in The New York Times, which later evolved into her memoir ‘ A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor.’ However, in a pleasantly surprising way, the memoir delves more into the couple’s love, happiness, and togetherness instead of the desolation brought on by death.

Image Credit: Dana Canedy/The New York Times

Even today, Dana holds her time with her late fiance as some of the best of her life. The movie helped her relive some of those moments and spread Charles’ story as she said, “Back when I was writing the book, part of the reason I did it was to help me get through grief. I had to find some positive way to channel the pain. Now I don’t so much focus on the healing as I do just the pride I have that I get to share Charles with the world.”

Read More: Where Was A Journal For Jordan Filmed?