New Details Emerge After Obama’s Personal Chef Is Found Dead Near Ex-President’s Martha’s Vineyard Home
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 the former president's Martha's Vineyard home ?? pic.twitter.com/qPsI1cc51N
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) July 24, 2023
Daily Mail reported that the body that was found near the Obamas’ estate on Monday has been identified as 45 year-old Tafari Campbell, a former White House sous chef who has been the Obama family’s personal chef for the past few years.
Campbell reportedly went missing on Sunday night after he went paddle boarding on Edgartown Great Pond with someone whose name has not been identified at this time. Campbell was reportedly seen falling overboard and quickly becoming submerged under 8 feet of water.
The New York Post reported that a 911 call came in from the Obamas’ 30-acre estate at 79 Turkeyland Cove Road on Sunday night, with the unidentified caller saying that Campbell was wearing all black and did not have a life jacket on. A massive search was immediately launched that involved divers, Coast Guard helicopters and resources from multiple agencies, but it was not until 10am 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 chef for the White House and cooked for the Clinton family.
Both of these men drowned. pic.twitter.com/B7iJkwueNu
— Amiri King (@AmiriKing) July 25, 2023
Obamas Break Their Silence
“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” Barack and Michelle said in a statement after his body was found. “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,” they continued. “He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.”
The Obamas concluded by offering support to Campbell’s wife and twin sons.
“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,” they said.
The Mail reported that the Obamas initially said that they were not home at the time that Campbell went missing. However, their office amended this on Monday by claiming that the Obamas actually were on Martha’s Vineyard, just not at their own residence when Campbell drowned.
The body of Tafari Campbell, former Pres. 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 Virginia culinary school and briefly owned his own restaurant before applying for a cooking job at the White House, eventually being hired while George W. Bush was still in office. Campbell was then one of just four cooks who was asked to stay on after Obama became president.
During the Obama presidency, Campbell was known for brewing a beer using honey from bees that Michelle tended on the South Lawn of the White House.
“I immediately thought of the African Americans who brewed beer for Washington and Jefferson, and was pleased to see the historical arc played out through the suds,” historian Adrian Miller wrote of Campbell in his book “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas.”
Massachusetts State Police say a body found off Martha's Vineyard was that of the personal chef to the Obama family, Tafari Campbell. He'd first worked with the Obamas in the White House. Campbell had been 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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