Obama campaign staffer dies after collapsing
July 13th, 2012
08:19 PM ET
10 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. Ignorance costs lives

    I wonder if anyone from the campaign staff started CPR or went for an AED, or if like most Democrats they stood around waiting for the government to show up and solve their problem.

    RIP Alex. Hopefully your death will inspire change that will actually accomplish something- bystander CPR and public access AEDs.

    July 14, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Larry

    God bless the familly and friends that knew him well. May His works continue and may many remember his labor was not in vain.

    July 14, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. otc

    Won't be surprised if the cause of death is drug related. Those staffers are heavily supplied.

    July 14, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. AmericanSam

    Very sad. So sorry to his family and all those who loved him.

    July 14, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Lady J

    So young! So sad!! My heart goes out to his family, his friends and those he worked with! Praying for you all!!

    July 14, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. no one

    This is 2 deaths related to President Obama's campaign within 2 weeks....kinda odd...

    July 14, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. orlop

    There must be more to come of this story.

    July 14, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. dave

    Way to exploit a death Obama campaign...

    July 14, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What a loss, a young and brilliant mind.

    July 14, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. constance stanford

    Rest in peace Alex, you are in the arms of our heavenly father, no more worries
    Lifting your family up in prayer for added strength... God bless each of you.

    July 14, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. maestra730

    Probably realized what kind of man Obama really is and then promptly died of shame for supporting him.

    July 14, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Wherever you are God bless you, my sympathy for you young man. Just know this we love you, we miss you-–with all our tears.

    July 14, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Doris V

    So sorry for your loss to all the family and friends of this young man. No words are sufficient at a time like this.

    July 14, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. ray johnson

    my wife and i send our prayer's to the family of alex. may god grant them the peace at this horrific time. i'm glad that the political battle can be put aside and mr romney acknowledges the devistation the family must feel at this time.

    July 14, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    hard to believe some the heartless comments on here........then again maybe not.

    July 14, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  16. sherry

    my sincere sympathy to family and friends,,,i apologize for the inconsiderate remarks on here also, but just know that not all humans are ruthless,, just know that some do truly care and pray for your family during this heart breaking time.

    July 14, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. Vanessa

    How can some people posts negative comments around this young man death? & before u guys say the "liberals" do so when something tragic happens on their corner, not true. We "liberals" RESPECT! May Alex rest in peace.. We will continue our fight! 4 more years. Si se puede! Hispanics 4 Obama!

    July 14, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. Ed R

    Political campaigning, with high stress levels and deprived physical conditions such as lack of sleep and poor diet is hazardous in the extreme. Candidates should care enough about their staffs to insist on physicals and some regular physician contact throughout the campaign. Might save some lives. Condolences to the family. No one of any age should go out this way.

    July 15, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
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