WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a multimillionaire New Jersey businessman and Democrat who was called out of retirement for a second tour of duty in Congress, has died at age 89.
A Democratic aide confirmed the death of the New Jersey senator. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the death before it was formally announced.
Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will make an appointment in the coming weeks to replace Lautenberg until the November 2014 elections.
Lautenberg had gained his wealth through early technology savvy, serving as the first salesman at payroll and HR service provider Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) in the late 1940s. He eventually served as its chairman and CEO from 1952-82. He also served as the executive commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1978 to 1982.
Lautenberg had health problems in recent years. A bout with the flu caused him to miss the Senate's Jan. 1, 2013 vote to avoid the fiscal cliff of rising taxes and falling government spending.
He had been diagnosed in February 2010 with lymphoma of the stomach and underwent chemotherapy for the next few months.
While in the U.S. Senate, his most noted accomplishment was as principal sponsor of a law banning smoking on domestic airline flights.
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