Damon Weaver Dead at 23

The budding journalist interviewed President Obama as an 11-year-old.

Palm Beach Post:

As an intrepid student reporter whose dreams carried him all the way to an interview in the White House with President Barack Obama, Damon Weaver found himself in the national spotlight at a young age. It was the Pahokee native’s dream to tell the stories of others as a professional journalist.

Weaver, who in 2009 became the youngest person to conduct an interview with a sitting president, died May 1 at age 23, his sister, Candace Hardy, confirmed Thursday. She said his death was due to natural causes.

Weaver was just 11 years old and a student at Canal Point Elementary School when he met with President Obama for about 10 minutes in the White House Diplomatic Room on Aug. 13, 2009, asking 12 questions that focused primarily on education and schools.

Among their topics: bullying, school lunches, conflict resolution and how to succeed. Weaver finished by inviting Obama to visit his school and asked him to be his “homeboy,” noting that Vice President Joe Biden already had taken him up on the offer.

“Absolutely,” Obama said with a smile, shaking Weaver’s hand.

[…]

Weaver, who most recently lived in West Palm Beach, graduated from Royal Palm Beach High School, earning a scholarship to Albany State University in Georgia. He was pursuing a degree in communications and planned to return to the university in the fall, Hardy said. He wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism covering the National Football League, she said.

Sad news, indeed.

Weaver parlayed his charm and boldness into interviews with numerous other celebrities, ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Dwayne Wade. He looked to have a bright future ahead of him. His death is being attributed to “natural causes.”

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Media, Obituaries
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Damn. Just…damn.

    13
  2. CSK says:
  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    Thanks for that early morning gut punch.

    15
  4. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yeah, it really sucks. Fame is fleeting, I guess–he died two weeks ago, he was buried yesterday, and I just found out this morning.

    16
  5. 23 is way too young to die

    30
  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    RIP. Hopefully he’ll be an inspiration for other young teens to pursue their dream.

    22
  7. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: I saw the headline yesterday. It told me all I needed to know, so I didn’t read the article. I would guess that his family opted for a quiet, dignified interment over a media circus involving potential protesters/gloaters on the margins of the crowd.

    18
  8. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The funeral was yesterday, and was limited to family because of Covid restrictions, according to the Palm Beach Post.

    8
  9. Joe Cool says:

    Such a shame, why god wanted him this early is utterly a mystery… Prayers to family and friends

    9
  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yeah. That works, too. And is much kinder and more optimistic relative to the population at large.

    4
  11. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    His sister told the NYTimes that he texted her from the hospital, but by the time she got there from work, he had died. Unutterably sad.

    2
  12. Me says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: it’s ok the truth will set him free.

  13. Julianna Nelson says:

    @Joe Cool: we should never question God. all prayer to him and his family through these hard times.

  14. Ignatius J Reilly says:

    @Julianna Nelson: If your god chose to kill this boy, then I have a lot of questions.