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Student reporter who interviewed Obama at White House dies at 23

POLITICO logo POLITICO 5/15/2021 By Associated Press
Barack Obama et al. sitting at a table in a suit and tie: In this screenshot from video, Damon Weaver interviews former President Barack Obama at the White House on Aug. 13, 2009. © CanalPointKECTV/YouTube In this screenshot from video, Damon Weaver interviews former President Barack Obama at the White House on Aug. 13, 2009.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The student reporter who gained national acclaim when he interviewed President Barack Obama at the White House in 2009 has died of natural causes, his family says.

Damon Weaver was 23 when he died May 1, his sister, Candace Hardy, told the Palm Beach Post. Further details were not released. He had been studying communications at Albany State University in Georgia.

Weaver was 11 when he interviewed Obama for 10 minutes in the Diplomatic Room on Aug. 13, 2009, asking questions that focused primarily on education. He covered school lunches, bullying, conflict resolution and how to succeed.

Weaver then asked Obama to be his “homeboy,” saying then-Vice President Joe Biden had already accepted.


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“Absolutely,” a smiling Obama said, shaking the boy’s hand.

He used that meeting to later interview Oprah Winfrey and athletes like Dwyane Wade.

“He was just a nice person, genuine, very intelligent,” Hardy said. “Very outspoken, outgoing. He never said no to anybody.”

Weaver got his start in fifth grade when he volunteered for the school newscast at K.E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary in a farm community on the shores of Lake Okeechobee.

“Damon was the kid who ran after me in the hall to tell me he was interested,” his teacher, Brian Zimmerman, told the Post in 2016. “And right away, I just saw the potential for the way he was on camera. You could see his personality come through. He wasn’t nervous being on camera.”

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