WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2014 -- Sam Kass, the personal chef to the first family and the executive director of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, is leaving the White House at the end of the month to live full-time in New York.

In August, Kass, the first-ever White House senior policy adviser on nutrition, married Alex Wagner, the anchor of MSNBC’s “Now With Alex Wagner” show. The White House says a successor to Kass will be named in the New Year and that he will remain engaged with the Let’s Move! initiative and the continuing effort to advance childhood nutrition.

In a news release, President Obama praised Kass for “the work he has done to inspire families and children across this country to lead healthier lives.”  Michelle Obama also said he will be missed.

“Sam has been an integral part of Let's Move! from its very beginning -- from discussions about children's health around my kitchen table in Chicago, to setting the strategic vision of a national campaign in the White House, to spearheading efforts with the private sector across the country,” the first lady said. “Sam leaves an extraordinary legacy of progress, including healthier food options in grocery store aisles, more nutritious school lunches, and new efforts that have improved how healthy food is marketed to our kids. I wish Sam success in all his future endeavors, and I know he will continue to be a leader in the vitally important work to build a healthier country.” 

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Kass is a longtime friend of the president and has been cooking for the Obama family for years, dating back to when he would prepare meals for them in Chicago. The president, first lady and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, all attended his wedding in New York state.


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