Barack, Michelle Obama mourn death of personal chef Tafari Campbell

Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obamaare mourning the passing of their personal chef, Tafari Campbell, after he was found dead on Monday, July 24.

“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” the 61-year-old former president and 59-year-old former first lady told CNN in a joint statement on Monday. “When we first met him, he was a gifted chef at the White House – creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together. In the years that followed, we came to know him as a warm, funny, extraordinarily kind man who just made our lives a little brighter.

News came Monday that Campbell’s body had been discovered by divers near Obama’s Katama estate in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, after being reported missing on Sunday, July 23. He was 45 years old.

The search for Campbell began Sunday evening after police and fire agencies responded to a 911 call at 7:46 p.m. ET that reported “a male paddle boarder who had gone into the water, appeared to struggle briefly to stay on the surface, and then drowned and did not surface again.”

According to a press release, Massachusetts Environmental Police officers recovered Campbell’s body shortly before 10 a.m. ET on Monday. Using side-scan sonar from a boat, the department found the late chef “about 100 feet from shore at a depth of approximately eight feet.”

According to the police report, Obama “was not present at the residence at the time of the accident”. However, the family praised Campbell through their statement on Monday.

Campbell first met the couple while working as an assistant chef at the White House during Barack’s presidency. Obama later hired him as his personal chef after Barack left office. (Barack served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017.)

“He’s been a part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone,” Barack and Michelle told CNN on Monday. “Today we join all those who knew and loved Tafari – especially his wife sherries And their twin boys, Javier and Savin – are grieving the loss of a truly wonderful man.”

The State Police Detective Unit for the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police are currently investigating Campbell’s death.