WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a defiantly liberal Democrat who represented his home state for nearly 30 years, died overnight, his office confirmed Monday morning.
Lautenberg, the last World War II veteran serving in the Senate, was 89. He died of complications from viral pneumonia at 4:02 a.m. today at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, according to his office.
Lautenberg had struggled with health issues for months, including a bout of the flu and bronchitis in the winter and pain and weakness in his legs, which have forced him to miss most Senate votes since the end of February.
Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, will appoint a replacement.
Senator Lautenberg is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; six children and their spouses, Ellen Lautenberg and Doug Hendel, Nan and Joe Morgart, Josh and Christina Lautenberg, Lisa and Doug Birer, Danielle Englebardt and Stuart Katzoff, Lara Englebardt Metz and Corey Metz; and 13 grandchildren.