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June 3, 2013 10:01 am

Senator Frank Lautenberg, Patron of Jewish Causes, Dies at 89

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). Photo: Hillel.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) died this morning of viral pneumonia at age 89, reports.

The son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia, Sen. Lautenberg was the oldest member of the senate. reports that he had struggled with health problems since last year, when he missed several weeks of votes because of what he said was flu and bronchitis.

Last Thursday Hillel: The Foundaton for Jewish Campus Life presented Sen. Lautenberg with the Renaissance Award at Hillel’s Renaissance Gala in New York City, in recognition of his contributions to the Jewish community that include The Lautenberg Amendment, which allowed Soviet Jews and other minorities from the former USSR to immigrate to the U.S.

Lautenberg had planned to retire in 2014. He had accomplished a major victory only last month, when a bill he had worked on to overhaul the law that regulates chemicals used in household products was unveiled as a bipartisan compromise bill.

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