(SNews) – Former President Barack Obama’s senior intelligence advisor James Crown has died suddenly after being involved in a tragic “single-vehicle car accident.”
Multi-billionaire Crown was appointed to Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board in 2014.
As a top intel official, Crown served in the administration during Obama’s spying on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign over false claims of collusion with Russia which triggered the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe and ultimately led to the scandal being recently exposed in Special Counsel John Durham’s explosive report.
Crown was also the Illinois co-finance chair for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
A close confidant of the former president, Crown was regarded as one of Obama’s “inner circle.”
Aside from being a key figure in Obama’s political realm, Crown was notable in the upper echelons of the business and banking world.
Crown, who lived in Chicago, had served on JPMorgan’s board since the early 1990s and was also a board director at General Dynamics.
He was also the managing partner of Aspen Skiing Co. based in Colorado, according to CNN.
Crown was the CEO and president of his family’s business, the investment firm Henry Crown and Company, from which he inherited his roughly $10.2 billion fortune.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Jim’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are also with all of you who knew and loved Jim, as much as I did.
“He was an integral part of JPMorgan Chase and our lives, and his presence will be deeply missed.”
In a statement, Obama said he and his wife Michelle were heartbroken over “dear friend” Crown’s death.
“Jim was a pillar of Chicago, a prominent voice in the Jewish community, and a true civic leader who loved our city,” the former president and first lady said in a joint statement.
“…He cared deeply about Chicago and making it a place where everyone could thrive — no matter who they are or what part of town they call home.”
“He was so much more than the business or civic leader he will be remembered as — he was a dynamic and deeply devoted son, husband, father, brother, and friend,” the Obamas added.
“We are just so lucky to have known him.”
Jim Crown was a pillar of Chicago who cared deeply about making our city a place where everybody can thrive. Michelle and I were also very lucky to call him a dear friend. We're heartbroken today, and we send our love to Paula and their wonderful family in this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/IWLLd1IYtF
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 26, 2023
Crown was killed when his car careened into an impact barrier at Aspen Motorsports Park in Woody Creek, the Colorado Sun reported, citing the local coroner.
“The official cause of death is pending autopsy although multiple blunt force trauma is evident,” the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office said in a news release.
“The manner is an accident.”
No other vehicles were involved in the incident and it was not immediately made clear why Crown’s car drove into the barrier.
Several local agencies are investigating the fatal crash, including the coroner’s office, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Colorado State Patrol.
Crown is survived by his wife Paula as well as their four children, several grandchildren, and his parents.
“The Crown family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Jim Crown,” a family representative said in a statement to the media.
“The family requests that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”