The ever-combative Frank Lautenberg, who fought big business, stomach cancer, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, and sometimes his Democratic colleagues as well, succumbed this morning to complications from pneumonia.
Obituaries and reactions from political figures started hitting the Internet a short while after the announcement and will continue to mount in the days ahead.
Here is a sampling of the early reactions.
New York Times
His death leaves a vacancy in the Senate that will be filled by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican. If he appoints a Republican, as expected, his party will hold 46 Senate seats while the Democrats’ number will drop to 52. Two independents caucus with the Democrats. Mr. Lautenberg was the Senate’s last surviving veteran of World War II.
Bergen Record - Politics
A fierce partisan, Lautenberg also worked with Republicans when there were shared New Jersey interests at stake. "I often looked to partnering with Senator Lautenberg on critical issues for our state, whether it was fighting to keep the [Federal Aviation Administration] Technical Center and the Coast Guard Training Center in South Jersey or protecting beach projects vital to our coastal communities," said Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-Ventnor. "I was proud to call Frank Lautenberg a friend.
Bergen Record - Sports
Lautenberg was a Patersonian and the son of impoverished eastern European immigrants. But Lautenberg managed to attend Seton Hall and Columbia, getting a degree in economics in the latter. Then in the early 1950s, Lautenberg teamed up with a pair of brothers who also were from Paterson – Henry and Joseph Taub, who later became two of the “Secaucus Seven” who owned the New Jersey Nets for 20 years until the late 1990s. The Taubs founded a company that you may know today as the multi-billion dollar payroll firm Automatic Data Processing.