Obama campaign staffer dies after collapsing
July 13th, 2012
08:19 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign staffer dies after collapsing

(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Friday called the family of a campaign staffer who collapsed in the Chicago headquarters and later died, Obama's campaign said.

The staffer, 29-year-old Alex Okrent, worked in the campaign's advertising department, the Chicago Sun-Times said in a report, which campaign officials acknowledged was accurate.

The president offered his condolences to Okrent's family and spoke with other members of his campaign staff in a conference call, his campaign said.

Obama was campaigning in Virginia on Friday.

Okrent had worked on Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, the Sun-Times report said.

on Friday evening, Obama tweeted, "A beloved member of our campaign family, Alex Okrent, passed away today. Our prayers are with his loved ones. We will miss you, Alex. -bo." Obama's organization has said the initials indicate the tweet is from the president.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann Romney, acknowledged Okrent in a tweet after the news emerged.

“Ann & I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent,” he tweeted. “Prayers are with Alex’s loved ones and the entire Obama campaign team.”

David Axlerod, a senior adviser to Obama’s campaign, tweeted in reply to Romney: “Thank you, governor. Alex was a beloved member of our team. It's been a very emotional day.”

No further details were immediately available.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. guest

    Brugada Syndrome knows no party line. How sad for all.

    July 14, 2012 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  2. clarke

    So young, rest in peace young man.

    July 14, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  3. Average American

    I'm saying prayers this morning for his family.

    July 14, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  4. unowhoitsme

    Condolences to family and friends. 29 years old is way too young to die. No one should ever have to bury their child. I'm so sorry.

    July 14, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  5. steve

    very very sad
    young people take note of this
    you don't have to be old anymore suddenly collapse and pass on
    calm down, enjoy life, don't rush yourself to the grave!
    life is so short

    July 14, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Poor young guy. It's wrong that so many good people die, especially at young ages, when unimaginably evil people live, seemingly forever. Kudos to both obama and romney for taking a time-out to acknowledge this. May god have mercy upon all of our souls and lead us to a place of true unity and love.

    Until then, we must return to the presidency fight.

    July 14, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  7. The Widow

    Poor young guy. It's wrong that so many good people die, especially at young ages, when unimaginably evil people live, seemingly forever. Kudos to both obama and romney for taking a time-out to acknowledge this. May god have mercy upon all of our souls and lead us to a place of true unity and love.

    Until then, we must return to the presidency fight.

    July 14, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  8. steve

    Prayers for him and family.

    July 14, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  9. Pete

    It's a shame that someone so young has died unexpectedly,my condolences go out to Alex's family.He'll get his wish when looking over Pres.Obama at the start of his second term in February.Rest in Peace Alex...

    July 14, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  10. mstlg1957

    What a terrible thing to happen to such a young man. Sounds like he was dedicated to the president and believed in his agenda. Condolences to his family and friends. God bless him.

    July 14, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. James, AL

    Our sympathy and prayers go to the Okrent family and to the Obama campaign.

    July 14, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Jeffery Childs

    I am so sorry for your lost may go be with you all.

    July 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Truth Teller

    Hope this is a wake up call for everyone in the election campaign arena to knock off the bs and stop the hatred and political attacks...you are influencing children with your negative behavior. Political "assassination" should be a crime. Get down to the business of discussing the real issues at hand like people needing jobs, etc. Why is it taking an election anyway for you all to do something about the job problem, you could have been creating jobs all the past few years. Political "assassination" should be a crime. Condolences to the family.

    July 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. mjw

    Our thoughts and prayers with the Okrent family and fellow campaign supporters in HQ. We will carry the torch.

    July 14, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Cooper

    Sorry to hear this sad news. Prayers for Alex Okrent and his family.

    July 14, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. GI Joe

    So sorry – prayers to his family. I had a cousin that was 28, out working on his pride (an old Mustange he was restoring with every penney he could earn extra) when he suddenly clutched his chest and that was the end of him. No drugs, no warnings, nothing. It's so sad to see people die so young - they haven't really lived yet.

    July 14, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. erica

    God bless the familly and friends that knew him well

    July 14, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. wahab elebute

    may his soul rest in perfect peace...

    July 14, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. ST

    You will be missed terribly young lad. Rest in peace!

    July 14, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. zq

    Condolences to his family and loved ones on this sad day. This is, and should be outside of politics, however, maybe it should remind us that not all cynicism regarding politics is well placed. At least outwardly it appears he died giving everything to a cause he believed in.

    July 14, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. doug

    I wonder if this man had the same heart condition as Andrew Breitbart had. It is nice to see that there is zero celebration going here as there was by every Democrat in America when Andrew "passed on".

    July 14, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Pander Bear

    My condolences to his family and friends.

    July 14, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. davecu

    That is way too young is anybodies book!

    My condolences to the family, loved ones, and co-workers of this young man.
    Be at Peace.

    July 14, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Andy

    is this Obama's Vince Foster?

    July 14, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. WiredweirdinSF

    Very sad, I join everyone else in condolences to his family and cannot help but wonder what the reaction would have been if this was a young Romney aid. I remember how the democrat liberals heap abuse on Republicans even in family tradgedies, or on innocent members of their families, like Letterman abusing Sarah Palin's daughter and how that was defended by the liberal media.

    July 14, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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