Tafari Campbell, a former White House sous chef under former president Barack Obama, has died. Campbell eventually became The Obamas’ personal chef.


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According to PEOPLE, on Monday, Campbell died in a paddleboarding accident near the Obama estate at Matha’s Vineyard. He was 45 years old. Campbell was recovered from a pond by divers.

“MSP Underwater Recovery Unit divers made the recovery after the victim’s body was located by Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers deploying side-scan sonar from a boat,” Massachusetts State Police said in the release, noting the recovery was made “approximately 100 feet from shore at a depth of about eight feet.”

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The Obamas were not present then but shared a tribute after the news broke, calling him “a beloved part of our family.”

“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House — creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together. In the years that followed, we got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.

That’s why, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.

Today we join everyone who knew and loved Tafari — especially his wife Sherise and their twin boys, Xavier and Savin — in grieving the loss of a truly wonderful man.”

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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