TRENTON, NJ — Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who was the oldest sitting member of the United States Senate, died this morning of viral pneumonia at the age of 89. A recent bout with stomach cancer had left the Senator in poor health. As a result, Lautenberg promised constituents not to seek re-election in 2014. By passing at 4:02 this morning, his most recent campaign promise has been fulfilled.
Lautenberg is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; six children and their spouses and 13 grandchildren. He was also the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the chamber.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will appoint a temporary replacement. A special election may be called before the regular election this fall, at the Governor's discretion.
Despite his death, Lautenberg still plans to vote in November.