The former personal chef to the Obama family, Tafari Campbell, has tragically lost his life in a paddleboarding accident. The 45-year-old was found drowned in the waters of Edgartown Great Pond, near the Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard estate. The incident was confirmed by local authorities on Monday.
Campbell had a significant history with the Obama family, having served as a sous chef during Barack Obama’s presidency. He was later employed as the family’s personal chef after Obama’s term ended. The Obamas were not at their estate during the time of the incident, as confirmed by the police.
Emergency services were alerted to a possible drowning on Sunday evening. A comprehensive search operation was launched from the Obama’s 30-acre estate, involving multiple agencies, divers, and Coast Guard helicopters. The operation continued overnight, with Campbell’s body eventually located on Monday morning using sonar equipment.
The Obamas released a heartfelt statement on Monday, expressing their sorrow over the loss of Campbell. They remembered him as a cherished member of their family, praising his culinary creativity and passion, as well as his warm and kind-hearted nature. They extended their condolences to his wife Sherise and their twin sons, Xavier and Savin.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing Campbell struggling in the water before he submerged and failed to resurface. He was reportedly dressed in all black and was not wearing a life jacket. His paddleboard and hat were recovered shortly after the search crews arrived. Campbell was fondly remembered for his unique contributions during his tenure at the White House, including brewing a special beer using honey from bees that Michelle Obama nurtured on the South Lawn.