A native of Houston, Lepow started working as a volunteer on Obama's advance operations before the 2008 Democratic primary in Texas. After spending a couple of years planning presidential trips as a member of the White House advance team, he became a regional communications director.
Lepow did not learn that he had T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia until September 2013, after he had left the White House and was planning his wedding. But his former colleagues felt so strongly about him that over the past few months, more than 50 current and ex-administration officials journeyed to Houston to visit him as he underwent treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Lepow, who is survived by his wife Theresa as well as his parents, Cindy Schmerin and Kenny Lepow, went into remission in 2014 but relapsed earlier this year.
Former White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, who served as Lepow's boss and played on a men's basketball team with him in D.C., said in a phone interview he was "the most beloved person I’ve ever been around."
"Even the people on the other basketball team loved Brandon," said Pfeiffer, who joined dozens of others in Houston in late August to spend time with Lepow and his family. "It says so much about Brandon that more than 50 of the busiest people in the world were in Houston within 24 hours of the news his condition had taken a turn."
At Tuesday's briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest choked up as he described how he hoped the life Lepow had lived could serve as a model for his own infant son.
"I've been thinking about Brandon's family, and particularly his parents as they mourn the loss of their son," Earnest said. "But as a relatively new father myself, I've also been thinking about the kind of man that I want my son to grow up to be, and Brandon's courage in confronting tough challenges, his selflessness and humility in interacting both with those he loved and those he barely knew, and his passion for what he believed in makes him a genuine role model."
Speaking to Cosmopolitan.com in May 2014, Theresa said their experience had changed her conception of marriage.
"When we got engaged and had these great careers and this perfect life, I thought, naively, 'Love is all you need.' But there's so much more to marriage, and to a meaningful relationship, than that. I've learned about patience and accepting the world as it is by going through this with Brandon," she said. "Earlier today, I was thinking about how his chemo is winding down and it struck me: I'm happy. We're happy. Despite what we've faced, whether conscious of it or not, we've chosen happiness. We live every day for each other. And that's all we can do."
Lepow's death comes less than a month after Jake Brewer, a 34-year old staffer in the White House Office of Technology Policy, was killed in a biking accident during a ride to raise funds for cancer research.
In his statement, Obama said the fact that Lepow died young did not lessen his impact on those around him.
"He made his thirty-two years count," the president said. "And those of us who knew him are better for it."