Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey Has Died at 89

The Senate's last World War II veteran planned to retire at the end of his term in 2014.
lautenberg.banner.reuters.jpg.jpg
Reuters

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who was first elected to the Senate in 1982, died Monday morning of viral pneumonia at the age of 89. Lautenberg, who was up for reelection in 2014, announced earlier this year that he would retire at the end of his term. He was the last World War II veteran in the Senate.

New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie will now be tasked with appointing someone to fill the Senate seat, setting off a potential political fight with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

"I am not announcing the end of anything," Lautenberg said in a retirement statement to Newark's Star-Ledgerin February. "I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey. While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I'm going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate."

For more on the senator's career, see our Almanac profile here. National Journal's vote rating analysis placed Sen. Lautenberg as the sixth most liberal senator in 2012.

Presented by

Matt Berman is an online editor at National Journal.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In