Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The 14 N.J. and Pa. senators who have died in office

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Monday became the ninth senator from New Jersey to die while in office. Five senators from Pennsylvania have also died while serving in the Senate.

The 14 N.J. and Pa. senators who have died in office

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Monday became the ninth senator from New Jersey to die while in office. Five senators from Pennsylvania have also died while serving in the Senate.

According to data from Senate's website, here are 14 senators from the region who have passed away during their terms. In total, 299 senators have died in office during the Senate's 224-year history.

Some things we learned: Three Pennsylvania senators died in the 10-month period between October 1921 and August 1922. No Democrat from Pennsylvania has died in office. Two of the deceased senators from the region earned a Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery during the Civil War. Three of the senators were appointed to fill a vacancy after another senator's death, then died in office themselves.

1. Joseph McIllvaine: The Adams-Clay Republican from New Jersey died Aug. 19, 1826. He was a U.S. attorney for New Jersey and was appointed judge of the state's superior court but declined the position before serving in the Senate from 1823 to 1836.

2. Samuel Southard: The Democratic Republican/Anti-Jacksonian/Whig from New Jersey died June 26, 1842. He also held positions as the Secretary of the Navy, ad interim Secretary of War, ad interim Secretary of the Treasury and governor of New Jersey between Senate terms. He served in the Senate from 1821 to 1823, and again between 1833 and 1842.

3. John R. Thomson: The Democrat from New Jersey died Sept. 12, 1862.  The former canal and railraod company official served in the Senate from 1853 to 1862.

4. William Wright: The Democrat from New Jersey died Nov. 1, 1866. Wright ran a saddlery and leather business and was mayor of Newark before serving in the Senate from 1853 to 1859 and 1863 to 1866.

5. William J. Sewell: The Republican from New Jersey died Dec. 27, 1901. The Civil War major general from Camden earned a Congressional Medal of Honor and worked in New Jersey railroads. He was a senator from 1881 to 1887 and 1895 to 1901.

6. Matthew S. Quay: The Republican from Pennsylvania died May 28, 1904. The first Pennsylvania senator to die in office, Quay was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for voluntarily returning to military service on the eve of the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War, even though he was out of active duty at the time. He was a senator from 1887 to 1899 and 1901 to 1904.

7. William Hughes: The Democrat from New Jersey died Jan. 30, 1918. The former court reporter, lawyer, judge and U.S. representative served in the Senate from 1913 to 1918.

8. Philander C. Knox: The Republican from Pennsylvania died Oct. 12, 1921. Knox was the U.S. Attorney General under presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt before being appointed to fill Senate vacancy caused by Quay's death. He served as Secretary of State for President William Taft and was then reelected to the Senate, where he served from 1904 to 1909 and 1917 to 1921.

9. Boies Penrose: The Republican from Pennsylvania died Dec. 31, 1921. The Philadelphia lawyer served in the state House and Senate and unsuccessfully ran for Philly's mayorship before his U.S. Senate election. He served from 1897 to 1921.

10. William E. Crow: The Republican from Pennsylvania died Aug. 2, 1922. The laywer and state senator was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate opening caused by Knox's death. He served from 1921 to 1922.

11. Dwight W. Morrow: The Republican from New Jersey died Oct. 5, 1931. Morrow worked in banking and was the Ambassador to Mexico before serving in the Senate from 1930 to 1931.

12. W. Warren Barbour: The Republican from New Jersey died Nov. 22, 1943. He was an amateur heavyweight boxing champion, member of the National Guard and worked in thread manufacturing before being appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy after Morrow's death. He lost reelection in 1936, but was elected in 1938 to fill another vacancy after a resignation. He was a senator from 1931 to 1937 and 1938 to 1943.

13. John Heinz: The Republican from Pennsylvania died April 4, 1991. The H.J. Heinz Co. businessman was also a U.S. Representative and served in the Senate from 1977 to 1991, when he died in a plane crash in Lower Merion Township.

14. Frank Lautenberg: The Democrat from New Jersey died June 3, 2013. The multimillionaire businessman was was the only remaining veteran of World War II in the Senate. He served in the Senate from 1982 to 2001 and from 2003 to 2013.

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