Jody Powell as press secretary.

Jody Powell, as White House press secretary, blows tobacco smoke as he watches TV news commentary after a July 1979 speech by President Jimmy Carter. (Charles Tasnadi / AP Photo)

By Frank James

Jody Powell, who served as President Jimmy Carter's press secretary, has reportedly died.

ABC News had the first report which is excerpted below.

ABC News has learned that former White House press secretary Jody Powell has died.
This afternoon at his house on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, Powell had an apparent heart attack, a family friend said.
The former press secretary for President Jimmy Carter was the CEO of the PR firm Powell Tate. He was 65.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports the following:

WASHINGTON (AP) - A close associate says Jody Powell, who was White House press secretary during Jimmy Carter's presidency, has died.
Powell, a Georgia native known for his deep Southern drawl, worked on Carter's presidential campaign in 1976 and served as the Carter's spokesman between 1977 and 1981. The cause of death was not immediately known.
After leaving the White House, Powell became one of the founders of the Powell Tate public relations firm in Washington.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued the following statement:

"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jody Powell. As Press Secretary to President Carter, Jody served his country during a difficult time, and he always did the job with grace and good humor. When I needed advice at the start of my own tenure as Press Secretary, he was always generous with his time and wise in his counsel. I'll miss his support and encouragement, and I'll be keeping him and his family in my thoughts and prayers."

categories: National News

5:51 - September 14, 2009