Weather Updates

Obama campaign worker collapses at Chicago campaign HQ and later dies

Alex Okrent phofrom his Twitter profile.

Alex Okrent in a photo from his Twitter profile.

storyidforme: 33541629
tmspicid: 12268827
fileheaderid: 5592440

Updated: August 15, 2012 6:10AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the tone and content of many of the comments associated with this story, commenting has been turned off. The Sun-Times encourages readers to make their voices heard, but commenting must maintain a respectful and constructive tone.

A 29-year-old staffer at President Barack Obama’s downtown Chicago campaign headquarters collapsed there Friday and later died.

Alex Okrent worked with Obama’s political team since 2004. The president called Okrent’s family to offer his condolences. Obama later consoled campaign staffers in a conference call Friday afternoon.

Okrent worked in Obama for America’s paid media department, which handles advertising for Obama’s re-election bid. He was a staffer for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and worked on his 2004 race for an Illinois Senate seat. He also worked in a variety of other campaigns.

After he collapsed, Chicago paramedics were called at 10:36 a.m. to the Obama headquarters in the Prudential Building where he was given emergency treatment. He was then taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Okrent, who lived in north suburban Evanston, was a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Obama said on his campaign Twitter account, “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 November opponent, Mitt Romney, offered his condolences, saying via Twitter: “Ann & I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent. Prayers are with Alex’s loved ones and the entire Obama campaign team.”

Lynn Sweet

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.