Obama's grandmother and Nevada State Director Die
Terence Tolbert, Barack Obama's Nevada state director, died suddenly of a heart attack yesterday. He was 44, and a former senior aide to New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein and mayor Michael Bloomberg.
For this reason, the mood in Obama's campaign headquarters is more somber than it otherwise would be.
In a statement this morning, Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the death.
"Terence was a strong force in this campaign, with a positive outlook that brought people together. He was much loved by his team, who often repeated his motto of 'leave no stone unturned.' His enthusiasm, talent, and warm heart will truly be missed. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Obama-Biden family are with his wife and loved ones," Obama said.
Tolbert is survived by his wife, Freida, and his mother, Carolyn.
STATEMENTS BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR JOEL I. KLEIN ON THE DEATH OF TERENCE D. TOLBERT
Statement from Mayor Bloomberg
“Last night, Terence Tolbert, who was a valued member of our Administration and had become a personal friend of mine, had a massive heart attack in
where he was working on Senator Obama’s campaign. Terence was not only somebody who was one of the most likeable people in the world, he was one of the most hardworking people in the world. He had great judgment and a great feel for people, and this really is a great tragedy. Our Administration will miss him, the City will miss him, the country will miss him, and all of our prayers go out to his wife Freida and his mother Carolyn. We’ll announce the funeral arrangements when they’re made, but this really is a tragedy and it puts things in perspective. One of the nice things about November 4th was going to be that Terence would come back to us. Now, sadly, he is never going to come back – but we will never forget him.” Nevada
Statement from Chancellor Klein
“Terence Tolbert was a leader, mentor, and friend to people throughout our Department and this entire City. Working for the City's children here, in
Albany, and in as Executive Director of Inter-Governmental Relations, he was a source of inspiration, a person who fought hard for others who were less fortunate and a person who believed deeply that government can and must play a constructive role in improving the lives of its citizens. His warmth and humor permeated our offices. His untimely passing will be felt personally and deeply by so many of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.” Washington, D.C.