Frank Lautenberg

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Frank Lautenberg
Frank Lautenberg, official portrait, 112th portrait crop.jpg
United States Senator
from New Jersey
In office
January 3, 2003 – June 3, 2013
Preceded byRobert Torricelli
Succeeded byJeffrey Chiesa
In office
December 27, 1982 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byNicholas F. Brady
Succeeded byJon Corzine
Personal details
Frank Raleigh Lautenberg

(1924-01-23)January 23, 1924
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedJune 3, 2013(2013-06-03) (aged 89)[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lois Levenson (divorced)
Bonnie Englebardt (2004–2013; his death)
Alma materColumbia University
WebsiteSenate website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army seal United States Army
Years of service1942–1946
RankUS Army WWII T5C.svg Technician Fifth Grade[2]
Unit3185th Signal Corps Service Battalion

Frank Raleigh Lautenberg (January 23, 1924 – June 3, 2013) was an American Senior Senator of the state of New Jersey.[3] He first served in the United States Senate from 1982 to 2001; after a brief retirement, he was re-elected to the Senate and has served from 2003 until his death in 2013. At age 89, Lautenberg was the oldest senator and the last serving veteran of World War II to become a senator (after the death of Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens.[4] Daniel Akaka left office). Lautenberg was the oldest serving Senator.[5]

Early life[change | change source]

Lautenberg was born on January 23, 1924 in Paterson, New Jersey to Jewish-Polish-Russian parents.[6] After graduating from Nutley High School in 1941, Lautenberg served overseas in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1946.[7] Then, financed by the GI Bill, he attended and graduated from Columbia Business School in 1949 with a degree in economics.

Career[change | change source]

Lautenberg was elected to as Senator of New Jersey in 1988. Following his re-election, Lautenberg became a member of the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (PCAST), which was set up in September 1989 to review and report on aviation security policy in light of the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988.[8]

Lautenberg was again re-elected in the Republican Revolution of United States Senate elections, 1994, beating New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Chuck Haytaian by 50% to 47%.[9] Lautenberg helped pass laws that allowed no smoking on airplanes and to raise the drinking age to 21.[10]

Later career[change | change source]

He announced his retirement in 2000, but denied it was because he thought he would lose to Whitman or Kean, saying that he had been vulnerable in previous elections and "Mr. Vulnerable always wins". His fellow Democrat and businessman, Jon Corzine, was elected to replace him. In the United States election of 2001, Lautenberg decided to run again for Senator. He won the election.

In February 2006, Lautenberg announced his intention to run for re-election in United States Senate elections, 2008, saying that deciding not to run for re-election in 2000 "was among the worst decisions of his life."[11] Lautenberg formally announced his candidacy on March 31, 2008.

On February 14, 2013, Lautenberg announced he would not seek re-election.[12] In the press conference, Lautenberg joked, "is it too late to change my mind?" and joked that he would pray "something goes wrong" so he could be called on to run again.

Personal life[change | change source]

Lautenberg was married to Lois Levenson until they divorced 31 years after their marriage. He was married to Bonnie Englebardt from 2004 until his death in 2013. He had four children with Levenson. In 2010, Lautenberg's wealth was estimated to be between $55 million and $116.1 million, making him the fifth-wealthiest Senator.[1]

Health[change | change source]

In February 2010, Lautenberg was treated for stomach cancer.[13] During that same week, Lautenberg suffered from non-serious injuries from a fall he had.[13] June 2010, it was announced that Lautenberg had gone under chemotherapy for a curable case of lymphoma.[14] Lautenberg later made a full recovery.

Death[change | change source]

Lautenberg died on June 3, 2013 in Manhattan, New York from pneumonia, aged 89.[1][15] In the interim, the current governor, Chris Christie, appointed a Republican, which changed the party balance in the Senate by one.[16] He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia on June 7, 2013.[17]

Succession[change | change source]

On June 4, 2013, Governor Chris Christie announced that a special election to fill the current Senate seat will be held on October 16, 2013.[18] A special primary will be held on August 13, 2013.[19] It has been estimated that the two additional elections will cost the state approximately $20 million. Christie also stated he would soon appoint a Republican to fill the seat until the elected replacement takes office.[19] Republican politician Jeffrey Chiesa was chosen to be Lautenberg's acting successor. Chiesa was later chosen to be Lautenberg's official successor in October 2013.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senator From New Jersey, Dies at 89
  2. "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  3. York, Anthony (April 30, 2001). "Torricelli to Senator: "I'm Going to Cut Your Balls Off!"". Salon. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  4. Frank Lautenberg dies; was U.S. Senate's last WW II vet at
  5. "US Sen. Frank Lautenberg dies at 89". Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  6. U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Archived 2013-08-06 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  7. US Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Archived 2013-08-06 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  8. "Lautenberg profile at US Senate website". September 12, 2003. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  9. Kornacki, Steve (3 June 2013). "The luckiest day of Frank Lautenberg's life". Salon. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  10. From the Archives: Frank Lautenberg on Drinking Age, Secondhand Smoke Archived 2014-01-22 at the Wayback Machine at
  11. Frank Lautenberg at The Star-Ledger
  12. "Senator Lautenberg will not seek re-election". WABC TV. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 NJ Sen. Lautenberg Has Stomach Cancer at NBC 10
  14. NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg Completes Chemo at NBC 10
  15. Frank Lautenberg Dies Of Pneumonia
  16. Clymer, Adam (June 3, 2013). "Frank Lautenberg, 5-Term Senator From New Jersey, Dies at 89". New York Times.
  17. "Senator Frank Lautenberg laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery". WABC TV. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  18. Sullivan, Sean (June 4, 2013). "Christie Sets October Special Election for Lautenberg Seat". Post Politics(blog of The Washington Post). Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Christie announces October 16, 2013 special election to fill Lautenberg's seat[permanent dead link] at My Central

Other websites[change | change source]