Tyrone Gayle, the Washington press secretary for Senator Kamala Harris and a veteran of Democratic campaigns, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 30.
His death, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was caused by colon cancer, according to Lily Adams, Ms. Harris’s longtime communications director.
Despite his youth, Mr. Gayle had worked for several top Democrats, from his time as a driver and body man for Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia in 2012 to serving as a spokesman for the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state.
Along the way, he left lasting impressions, friends and colleagues said.
“If I’d go to an event, and the next time I’d be back and Tyrone wasn’t with me, everyone would want to talk about ‘how come Tyrone wasn’t with me, where’s Tyrone?’ ” Mr. Kaine said in an interview on Friday.
Mr. Gayle and Mr. Kaine crisscrossed Virginia for the senator’s 2012 campaign, bonding over a shared interest in sports, particularly college football. Mr. Kaine officiated at Mr. Gayle’s wedding in May to Beth Foster, a legislative assistant to Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington State.
It was during his time on the Clinton campaign that Mr. Gayle’s cancer was diagnosed. After going into remission, the cancer returned this year.
But his wife said he had refused to let his illness slow him down. “From the moment he got up in the morning to when he went to bed, he was not the kind of guy to sit around,” Ms. Gayle said.
Tyrone Oliver Gayle was born on Nov. 12, 1987, in Toronto. He was raised in Jacksonville, Fla., where he joined his high school track team. He continued to run as a Division I athlete at Clemson University in South Carolina, from which he graduated.
In politics, as in life, Mr. Gayle remained optimistic, said Ms. Adams, who worked with him on the campaigns for Mr. Kaine and Mrs. Clinton as well as in Ms. Harris’s Senate office.
“He was never cynical and would never let the cynicism of politics get to him,” she said.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Gayle is survived by his father, Dr. Michael O. Gayle; his mother, Ann Gayle; and his sister, Dr. Tamara Gayle Blackwood.
So many people had taken to social media to remember Mr. Gayle on Friday that for some of the afternoon “Tyrone” and “#GayleNation” were trending topics on Twitter in the Washington region.
Mrs. Clinton remembered Mr. Gayle as “one of the fiercest fighters we will ever know.” In a statement, Ms. Harris said that she was “heartbroken over the loss.”