Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) the U.S. Senate’s last surviving World War II Veteran with over five terms in the national legislature, has died.
Lautenberg, 89, had been suffering from a cold that turned into what he called a “severe case of bronchitis with fluid in the chest.” He had also battled stomach cancer in recent years.
After the Boston Marathon bombing’s last month, Lautenberg became instrumental is attempting to pass tougher gun control legislation, including stronger background checks for sales of explosive powder.
According to Harry Reid (D-NV): “Frank Lautenberg has been one of the most productive senators in the history of this country.” President Obama lauded the life-long democrat, saying “He improved the lives of countless Americans with his commitment to our nation’s health and safety…”
Son of Russian and Polish immigrants, Lautenberg grew up in Paterson, New Jersey and enlisted in the military at 18. He was a member of the United States Signal Corps from 1942-1946. After his military service he went on to graduate from Columbia University with the help of the GI Bill. Lautenberg eventually founded Automatic Data Processing or ADP – one of the largest computing services companies in the world.