McConnell’s Sister-in-Law May Have Died by Drowning, Officials Say

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
February 26, 2024US News
McConnell’s Sister-in-Law May Have Died by Drowning, Officials Say
(L-R) Jim Breyer and Angela Chao attends the AFI Awards Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 12, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

A recent report indicated that Angela Chao, the sister-in-law of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who was killed in a car accident earlier this month, may have died as a result of drowning. Ms. Chao’s vehicle crashed into a body of water on a private Texas property on Feb. 11.

The local Sheriff’s Office reported that the incident occurred around 60 miles west of her Austin, Texas home, yet details remain scarce.

“EMS attempted emergency measures on her but she succumbed from being under the water,” a short statement made by Blanco County Sherriff’s Office stated.

Although no foul play is being considered by authorities, the exact cause of Ms. Chao’s death remains currently undetermined, as reported by the Austin Statesman.

Questions have been raised, however, as to why officials have shown reluctance in releasing any additional information, amid the on-going investigation. It’s also currently unclear whether an autopsy will be conducted.

An autopsy was allegedly blocked at the family’s request, according to a post by independent researcher Kyle Bass on social media platform X.

This has led to speculation about the circumstances surrounding Ms. Chao’s death. Her body was located in a rocky area, surrounded by hills, in an affluent part of the state that is home to many wealthy residents.

According to independent media reports, the ranch where the death occurred is allegedly the property of Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao, Ms. Chao’s sister. Moreover, this brought up the question of whether the Chao’s family played a role in her death, and whether this is being deliberately obscured by authorities. The family described the death as accidental.

Ms. Chao, 50, was the CEO of shipping conglomerate Foremost Group since 2016, a business founded in 1964 by her father, who remains an honorary chairman for the company. She was married to Jim Breyer, a billionaire business mogul and co-owner of the Boston Celtics.

Mr. Breyer’s main venture, Breyer Capital, was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Austin. The company has worked with multiple high-profile businesses, including Meta and Spotify.

The past 7 years saw Breyer investing in around a dozen medical facilities, mainly focusing on AI-generated precision medicine. Despite worldwide engagement, Breyer remains cautious in operations involving China, and due to an internationally volatile political climate, it has suspended its investments in the country for 18 months, according to

Mr. Breyer and Ms. Chao have a 3-year-old son.

Ms. Chao’s sister Elaine Chao is a former cabinet member and served in the second Bush administration from 2001 to 2009, as well as during the Trump administration from 2017 to 2021.

Angela Chao graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in three years. She then went on to obtain her MBA at Harvard Business School.

Foremost issued a statement following Ms. Chao’s passing, published by Hellenic Shipping News:

“It is with deep sadness that Foremost Group announces the passing of Angela Chao in a tragic car accident. Angela Chao was a formidable executive and shipping industry leader, as well as a proud and loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife and mother. She was also a precocious youngster, learning about the shipping industry at an early age as she lovingly followed her father around during ‘Take Your Daughter to Work’ days on his ships.”

In addition, Ms. Chao was a published author on an array of topics including economics, international trade and finance, and education.

One of six children, she was a founding member of The Asian American Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Her father, Dr. James S.C. Chao, described her as having a “fierce intellectual curiosity that endeared her to everyone and helped her excel at everything she did,” adding that her passing will be felt throughout the entire Asian-American community.

Her previous marriage was to billionaire banker Bruce Wasserstein, who passed in 2009 just several months after the wedding.

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