Obama's Personal Chef Tafari Campbell Found Dead

The personal chef to former president Barack Obama was reportedly discovered to have died this weekend in a drowning accident near the Obama's home on Martha's Vineyard, according to Massachusetts State Police. Tafari Campbell, 45, of Dumfries, Virginia, had been seen Sunday night struggling to stay above water while out paddleboarding, according to a call made to emergency services. A response team began the search for Campbell that night, with members of the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local police involved, including flight and dive teams as well as on-foot personnel.

Massachusetts Environmental Police found Campbell's body on Monday morning just before 10 a.m. in Edgartown Great Pond, located roughly 100 feet from shore and 8 feet under the water's surface. An investigation of the death is ongoing and is being conducted by the Edgartown Police Department as well as state police. The Obama family was not home at the time of the accident.

A talented sous chef and beloved employee

Tafari Campbell was a well-known fixture in the White House during the Obama presidency, having been one of the chefs who brewed honey ale from scratch using honey from Michelle Obama's South Lawn garden. According to a statement by the Obamas, he was so cherished by the first family that they requested that he continue to cook for them after leaving the White House, and he agreed. Since then, their 30-acre home on the Martha's Vineyard has long been a popular summer destination for the family.

In the same statement, the Obama family expressed their shock and grief at the sudden loss. They sang their praise of the chef, calling Campbell "a beloved part of our family" and an "extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter," in addition to lauding his creativity, passion, and warmth. Campbell is survived by his wife, Sherise, and his twin sons, Xavier and Savin.