Sen. Frank Lautenberg dies at 89 in Manhattan

. Frank Lautenberg

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the Senate has died in Manhattan.

The New Jersey Democrat, 89, died from complications of viral pneumonia, his office announced today. Mr. Lautenberg had battled poor health this year and was mostly absent from the Senate. In February, he had announced he would not seek reelection,

It is expected that Republican Gov. Chris Christie will appoint a democrat to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Lautenberg’s death.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone, both from New Jersey had been making plans to make run for the seat in November 2014.

Mr. Frank R. Lautenberg, a five-term United States Senator, was famous for fighting alcohol and tobacco industries. In the Senate, Mr. Lautenberg campaigned for legislation to ban smoking on airplanes, and establish national standards for drunk driving.

He also championed a law that helps people know what pollutants have been released in their communities. Mr. Lautenberg cast his 9,000th vote in December 2011.

Mr. Lautenberg is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, six children and 13 grandchildren.

By Perviz Walji

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