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Kid Reporter Who Interviewed Obama at 11 Dies at 23

Damon Weaver was on his way to a journalism career
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2021 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Getting to tell the president what you want in your school lunch is a dream come true for a kid. And landing an interview with a sitting president is a dream come true for a young reporter. Damon Weaver did both at the same time in 2009, when he was only 11. Weaver was on his way to becoming a grown-up journalist when he died May 1 at age 23, the Palm Beach Post reports. His sister, Candace Hardy, said he died of natural causes. After giving Obama an opportunity to talk about a White House push to improve lunches, Weaver, then a sixth-grader, pitched his own preference. “I suggest that we have French fries and mangos every day for lunch,” he said. You can still watch the interview here.

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During their talk, Weaver also asked Obama about bullying, and told him NBA star Dwyane Wade had promised to play basketball with Obama if the interview took place, the Guardian notes. Obama was just one of the big interviews Weaver scored. Before Obama he sat down with then-senator and candidate for veep Joe Biden. He also interviewed Oprah Winfrey in addition to Wade, who "told me to stick with my dreams," Weaver recounted to the Palm Beach Post in 2015. Says Hardy of her brother, “He was just a nice person, genuine, very intelligent." Weaver was working on a communications degree at Albany State University in Georgia, with dreams to cover the NFL after graduation. (Read more Damon Weaver stories.)

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