This is so sad. A.J. Cooper, former host of BET’s ‘Teen Summit’ and aspiring politician, died suddenly on Dec. 3. He was just 34 and had proposed to his girlfriend, Ryan Palmer, just a week before his death.
Sadly, A.J. Cooper has passed away. The 34-year-old died suddenly on Dec. 3 after feeling unwell in the days before his death. He had recently launched a bid for D.C. Council and had hosted BET’s Teen Summit during his high school and college years.
‘Teen Summit’ Host A.J. Cooper Dead
A.J. collapsed at his mother’s home after suffering from chest pains and dizziness, his aunt Peggy Cooper Cafritz said, according to the Washington Post. He died on Dec. 3, his mother confirmed.
He had gotten engaged to girlfriend Ryan Palmer over the Thanksgiving holiday, NBC Washington reports.
A.J. was passionate about politics. During his college years, he was a host for BET’s Teen Summit, a program dedicated addressing everyday teen issues.
He would go on to serve in the Marine Corps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2009 and worked as a policy director for the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
The politician had recently announced he was running for the Council seat being vacated by Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser. On Dec. 1, he attended a Ferguson protest outside the U.S. Department of Justice and voiced his concern for the nation.
“We need to turn all of this energy, all of this passion, all of this pain, into power, into something positive, into real change that will improve outcomes in people’s lives,” A.J. said.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to A.J. Cooper’s family and friends during this difficult time.
— Avery Thompson