Nathan “Nearest” Green
1820 – 1890
First master distiller of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey.
An incorrect spelling in an 1880 census has caused some confusion. Nathan “Nearest” Green was born a slave, nicknamed Nearest and later, Uncle Nearest, to all his family and friends. In 1967, Jack Daniel’s Legacy was published, revealing to the world that Uncle Nearest was actually the person who taught Jack how to make Tennessee whiskey. Not only had he taught Jack how to make the whiskey and became the master distiller, but he was the first African descendant on record to become a master distiller.
His lineage still remains with the company as his family has had several generations that worked alongside Jack Daniel’s descendants.