Autopsy Confirms Obamas’ Personal Chef Died of Accidental Drowning While Paddleboarding

Tafari Campbell died on July 23 in an accident at Martha’s VIneyard.

An autopsy has confirmed how Tafari Campbell –the personal chef to former President Barack Obama– died earlier this summer.

On Tuesday (August 22), a report confirmed that Campbell died of accidental drowning in a Martha’s Vineyard lake near a residence owned by the Obamas, according to CBS News.

The report revealed Campbell’s cause of death was ruled an accidental drowning due to submersion in a body of water, as noted by Timothy McGuirk, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

On July 23, while paddleboarding at Edgartown Great Pond, reports also revealed that he was seen struggling in the water before he went under, according to CBS Boston. After a search during the night when he was reported missing, his body was found approximately 100 feet from the shore a day later by Massachusetts State Police divers.

The Obamas were not at their home on the island at that time.

For the former first family, Campbell was more than their chef, and their connection went beyond the kitchen.

"Tafari was 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,” said President Obama and Mrs. Obama in a statement following his death.

They added, “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.

He is survived by his wife Sherise and their twin sons, Xavier and Savin.

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