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Barack & Michelle Obama's Personal Chef's Cause Of Death Revealed

Home / News / Barack & Michelle Obama's Personal Chef's Cause Of Death Revealed

By Fiyin Olowokandi on August 23, 2023 at 8:45 AM EDT

The mystery behind Barack and Michelle Obama's longtime chef, Tafari Campbell's death has finally been resolved! The former First couple's longtime chef tragically lost his life near their Martha's Vineyard residence.

The 45-year-old served as a sous chef during the former president and first lady's reign in the White House. When the lovebirds left their leadership posts, they secured the culinarian as their personal cook.

The cuisinier held this position until he passed away on July 23, 2023, while paddle boarding on the Edgartown Great Pond in Massachusetts. The gourmet master's cause of death was recently revealed following an autopsy.

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No Foul Play Found In The Demise Of Barack & Michelle Obama's Personal Chef

A month after the 45-year-old cook was found dead near the political couple's home, a representative for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Massachusetts opened up about their findings.

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Barack Obama and Michelle Obama attend the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on December 5, 2010.
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Campbell's passing was concluded as an "accident," according to Timothy McGuirk, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Per The Washington Post, the rep claimed the commonwealth did not release autopsy results to the public but the chief medical examiner had ruled the kitchen staffer's death as accidental.

As stated, the culinarian had drowned while visiting the Obamas' Martha's Vineyard residence. Campbell was paddle boarding on the Edgartown Great Pond when the tragic accident occurred. A report detailing the event claimed the cuisinier fell into the water after losing his balance. However, the reason he became unsteady remains unknown.

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"Campbell was standing on his paddleboard when he lost his balance and fell off. He struggled to remain afloat before slipping beneath the water," the report explained. "Campbell was not wearing a life jacket and wasn’t secured to his board. Campbell’s body was found in about 8 feet of water."

On the evening he died, an unidentified woman who watched the former White House sous chef drop beneath the lake's surface was unable to help him. Additionally, a rescue swimmer tried but failed to save the cook's life.

More teams rushed in to rescue Campbell, including boat crews, dive teams, and even a Coast Guard helicopter. Unfortunately, they did not recover the 45-year-old's body until the following morning.

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Barack and Michelle Obama's personal chef, Tafari Campbell, drowned in a Paddle boarding accident

According to the police, the chef's corpse turned up a few minutes before 10 a.m. ET. “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,” authorities explained in their press release.

In a separate statement, a representative for the Massachusetts State Police stated the former White House residents did not witness the harrowing demise of their longtime chef. The spokesperson announced:

“Mr. Campbell was visiting Martha’s Vineyard at the time of his passing. President and Mrs. Obama were not present at the residence at the time of the accident.”

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The Obamas Paid Tributes To Their Longtime Chef

Following the confirmation of Campbell's death, the former president and first lady honored the late cook with touching tributes. In a joint statement, the couple reflected on their time with the father of two and his ability to unite people with his food.

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The pair claimed their lives were brightened by the 45-year-old's personality as a "warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person." For this reason, they implored the gourmet master to become their personal chef after leaving the White House.

“He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone,” the duo confessed, adding that they grieved Campbell's loss alongside his wife, twin sons, and other loved ones.

Additionally, the pair shared individual tributes on Instagram, with Barack dropping a picture of himself posing with the late cook at the White House.

"Tafari Campbell showed us what true character looks like. He believed that actions speak louder than words. And he used his immense gifts to bring people together, provide comfort, and spread joy. I'll miss him every day," the Nobel Peace Prize honoree captioned the post.

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Michelle echoed similar sentiments in her tribute post, where she shared a photo of herself posing with Campbell and the same smiling picture of the chef her husband posted. The 59-year-old's tribute read, "I will miss my friend, Tafari…the emptiness is hard. But I promise to stay strong, keep living, and honor your legacy in every way possible. Rest in peace, my brother."

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