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Monday, June 03, 2013

RIP Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Sen. Lautenberg
CBS News: Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., the last World War II veteran serving in the Senate, died due to complications from viral pneumonia at 4:02 a.m. Monday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, his office announced. He was 89 years old.

The Democrat had health problems in recent years and had missed several Senate votes in the first months of the year. He had the flu and missed the Senate’s Jan. 1 vote to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of rising taxes and falling government spending, then missed several votes two months later because of leg pain.

A chest cold kept him from attending a May 29 tribute in New York honoring him for his contributions to the Jewish community and Israel.

He had been diagnosed in February 2010 with B-cell lymphoma of the stomach and underwent chemotherapy treatments until he was declared in June 2010 to be free of cancer. He worked between the treatments. The diagnosis came just days after the death of West Virginia’s Robert Byrd made Lautenberg the oldest member of the Senate.

Before going to Washington, he was a successful businessman who co-founded the firm Automatic Data Processing.

Lautenberg is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; six children and their spouses and 13 grandchildren.
Lautenberg was not seeking reelection and his term would’ve ended this cycle. Republican Gov. Chris Christie will appoint a temporary replacement until a special election can be held. This could happen as early as November. Lautenberg was an advocate of stricter gun regulations, an advocate for “Amtrak and other transportation causes, as well as environmental, health care and veterans’ issues.”

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