Obama staffer collapses, dies at Chicago headquarters - FOX 32 News Chicago

Obama staffer collapses, dies at Chicago headquarters

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Alex Okrent Alex Okrent
Alex Okrent (HeyAok/Twitter) Alex Okrent (HeyAok/Twitter)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A 29-year-old staffer in the Obama for America campaign has died after collapsing in Barack Obama's Chicago headquarters Friday.

Alex Okrent, who graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2001, worked in the campaign's paid media department, which handles advertising.

He went off to college and in his junior year, decided that he wanted to get involved in poltics and the race for Illinois Senate. Back then, there were seven candidates. His family says he did his research and the candidate that impressed him the most was Barack Obama.

Okrent's parents told FOX Chicago News President Barack Obama wanted to thank them for their son's service and to offer his condolences.

"President Obama said that he couldn't know how horrible we were feeling, as a father of children he couldn't imagine what this loss was like," his mother Lynn Pollack said.

Okrent collapsed Friday morning after working out at the gym. His parents say that's how he'd start his day each morning and then he'd go to work on the sixth floor of the Prudential Building at the Obama campaign headquarters.

He was found unconscious and unresponsive Friday and was pronounced dead a short time later at Northernwestern Memorial Hospital.

Okrent started campaigning with Obama in 2004 when Barack Obama was running for Illinois Senate. His parents say Okrent was there when Sen. Obama delivered a fiery speech at the Democratic National Convention. They say their son drove to Boston from Illinois overnight when the camp realized they needed more Obama posters in the audience.

And when Obama decided to run for president, Okrent's parents say their son was the director of the get out the vote campaign in North Carolina. He traveled with the party to eight different states.

They say Alex was looking forward to four more years with the campaign.

"He's very fierce about what he believed and what he didn't believe and he had such passion for the work he did, and for his family. He told us he loved us every day. Every time we talked to him," Pollack said.

The medical examiner's office says an autopsy will be performed on the body Saturday morning.

His family told FOX Chicago News their son died of a heart attack.

Okrent was a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

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