The world was shocked on Monday when Barack and Michelle Obama’s personal chef, Tafari Campbell, was found dead near their $12.5 million estate in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Now, new details about Campbell’s death have come to light.
BREAKING: Barack Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell found dead after drowning near former president’s Martha’s Vineyard home 🙏😔 pic.twitter.com/qPsI1cc51N
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) July 24, 2023
Daily mail reported that the body found near the Obamas’ estate on Monday has been identified as Tafari Campbell, 45, a former White House deputy who has served as the Obama family’s personal chef for a few years.
Campbell reportedly disappeared Sunday night after paddleboarding on Edgartown Great Pond with someone whose name has not been identified at this time. Campbell was reportedly seen falling overboard and quickly submerged in 8 feet of water.
The New York Post reported that a 911 call came from the Obamas’ 30-acre estate at 79 Turkeyland Cove Road on Sunday evening, with the unidentified caller saying Campbell was wearing all black and had no life jacket. A massive search was immediately launched involving divers, Coast Guard helicopters and multiple agency assets, but it wasn’t until 10 a.m. Monday morning that Campbell’s body was found using sonar scanners deployed from a boat.
Tafari Campbell is a former White House chef who cooked for the Obama family.
Walter Scheib is another former White House chef and cooked for the Clinton family.
These two men drowned. pic.twitter.com/B7iJkwueNu
—Amiri King (@AmiriKing) July 25, 2023
The Obamas break their silence
“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” Barack and Michelle said in a statement after his body was discovered. “When we first met him, he was a talented Sous Chef in the White House – creative and passionate about food and his ability to bring people together. In the years since, we have come to know him as a warm, fun and extraordinarily kind person who has made our lives a little brighter.
“That’s why, as we were about to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed,” they continued. “He’s been a part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.”
The Obamas concluded by offering their support for Campbell’s wife and twins.
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“Today we join everyone who knew and loved Tafari – especially his wife Sherise and their twins, Xavier and Savin – in mourning the loss of a truly wonderful man,” they said.
The mail reported that the Obamas initially said they were not home at the time of Campbell’s disappearance. However, their office changed that on Monday, saying the Obamas were actually on Martha’s Vineyard, but not at their own residence when Campbell drowned.
The body of Tafari Campbell, former president. Obama’s personal chef was found in a pond near the Obamas’ Martha’s Vineyard estate.
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) July 25, 2023
Campbell’s family told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in 2009 that he had been interested in cooking all his life. He graduated from a culinary school in Virginia and briefly owned his own restaurant before applying for a job as a White House cook, only to be hired while George W. Bush was still in office. Campbell was then one of four cooks who were asked to stay on after Obama became president.
During Obama’s presidency, Campbell was known for brewing a beer with honey from bees that Michelle tended on the South Lawn of the White House.
“I immediately thought of African Americans brewing beer for Washington and Jefferson, and was thrilled to watch the historical arc unfold through the foam,” historian Adrian Miller wrote of Campbell in his book “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Fed Our First Families, From Washington to Obama.”
Massachusetts State Police said a body found off Martha’s Vineyard was that of Obama family personal boss Tafari Campbell. He had first worked with the Obamas in the White House. Campbell was paddleboarding near their home. pic.twitter.com/YNj3L55wCN
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 24, 2023
This is clearly a very tragic situation for everyone involved. Please join us in saying a prayer for Campbell’s family and friends during this difficult time.
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