The New York Times memorialized Evanston native and Obama campaign staffer Alex Okrent alongside famous names like Neil Armstrong and Whitney Houston in a series on notable deaths in 2012.
Okrent was “a true believer, beyond the usual zeal of a campaign worker,” as the Times put it, .
President Barack Obama described him as “a beloved member of our campaign family” in a tweet sent the day after he died. The president also noted his “commitment, humor and passion,” according to the Times.
Fellow campaign staffers noted his sense of humor, which manifested itself in his self-described “Jew-fro” and a Halloween costume that involved tight denim shorts after a character from Arrested Development, the Times reports. They later made buttons in his memory, with slogans like “DFA – Do It For Alex” and “AOK.”
Okrent, @HeyAok on Twitter, described himself in his Twitter profile with the editorial statement of a newspaper founded by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison in 1831.
"I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard," the quote reads.
Other lives memorialized in the Times’ “The Lives They Lived” series included jazz musician Dave Brubeck, comedian Phyllis Diller, writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron, astronaut Sally Ride and children’s book author Maurice Sendak.
To read the full story, visit the New York Times website.