Obama Staffer Dies After Collapse at Chicago HQ

A 29-year-old member of President Obama's re-election team collapsed at the campaign's Chicago headquarters and later died, the campaign said Friday afternoon.

Alex Okrent, who began working for Obama during his 2004 U.S. Senate bid in Illinois, was a member of the paid media department, which handles advertising for the 2012 campaign.

President Obama, traveling on a campaign swing through Virginia, called Okrent's family to offer his condolences, an official told the White House press pool. He also later hosted a conference call with other Chicago campaign staff to offer his sympathies.

Okrent, a graduate of Wesleyan University, collapsed suddenly Friday morning inside the Obama campaign offices at One Prudential Plaza in Chicago, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times, later confirmed by the campaign.

Paramedics responded and treated Okrent, but he was later pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney offered condolences Friday night in a message posted to his Twitter account.

"Ann & I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent," he wrote. "Prayers are with Alex's loved ones and the entire Obama campaign team."

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