A White House senior adviser and husband of HotAir’s Mary Katharine Ham was killed this weekend while riding in a local bike race to raise funds for cancer research.
The Washington Post reported that Jake Brewer, 34, lost control of his bike on a sharp curve, crossed the double-yellow line and was struck by an oncoming car. Ham confirmed his passing in a moving series of Instagram posts yesterday in which she confessed, “I lost part of my heart.”
Brewer and Ham, who married in 2011, have a 2-year-old daughter, Georgia. She is 7 months pregnant with their second child.
President Obama said the conservative commentator should consider the White House family.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, Obama said he was “heartbroken” at the loss of his senior policy adviser in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“We set out to recruit the best of the best to join their government and help us harness the power of technology and data to innovate new solutions for the 21st century. Simply put, Jake was one of the best,” the president said. “Armed with a brilliant mind, a big heart, and an insatiable desire to give back, Jake devoted his life to empowering people and making government work better for them. He worked to give citizens a louder voice in our society. He engaged our striving immigrants. He pushed for more transparency in our democracy. And he sought to expand opportunity for all.”
“I’ve often said that today’s younger generation is smarter, more determined, and more capable of making a difference than I was as a young man. Jake was proof of that,” Obama added. “Michelle and I are praying for all of Jake’s family and his many friends, most of all his wife, Mary Katharine Ham, their daughter, Georgia, and their growing family. They’ll always have a family here at the White House.”
Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith noted in a White House blog post that Brewer “lived and loved more in his 34 years than some people do in their whole lives.”
“A small sample of Jake’s work in just the past two weeks included: leading our participation in an event in the Bronx to help underprivileged young people learn to code; working with our colleagues to accelerate the President’s TechHire Initiative; and bringing together leaders from industry and government to use data to connect those with key skills to job opportunities,” Smith said.
John Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technology and the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said he was “shocked and devastated” at the loss of Brewer: “a bundle of brains, energy, commitment, and compassion.”
Holdren vowed “our grief will be matched in the days ahead by our solidarity and determination to support each other and find every appropriate way to honor Jake and help his beautiful young family through this impossibly painful time.”
A GoFundMe drive launched by Townhall’s Guy Benson on Sunday has already raised more than $138,000 of the $200,000 goal of an education fund for Brewer and Ham’s two children.