Jody Powell, the longest-serving and probably closest aide to former President Jimmy Carter, died on Monday at his home near Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, said Jack Nelson, the journalist and his friend. He was 65.
Mr. Powell collapsed outside his home, and efforts to revive him at a hospital were unsuccessful, Mr. Nelson said. He added that Mr. Powell’s wife, Nan, said that her husband had suffered a heart attack…
In recent years, he had been chairman of Powell Tate, a Washington-based public relations firm.
Powell was a familiar face during the four stormy years of the Carter presidency — during the Israeli-Egyptian summit, the Iranian hostage crisis and Carter’s 1980 campaign, first against Edward Kennedy and then Ronald Reagan.
A Georgia native known for his deep Southern drawl, he also worked on Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976 and served as the Carter administration’s spokesman between 1977 and 1981.
Powell, along with the late Hamilton Jordan, joined up with Carter several years before he was elected governor of Georgia in 1970. Powell served as Gov. Carter’s press secretary, then, as well.
At one point, President Carter said that “Jody Powell knows me better than anyone else except my wife.”