Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat, a five-term United States senator from New Jersey, and a longtime summer resident of Vineyard Haven died Monday morning, June 3. He was 89.
He purchased a West Chop home in 1976 and visited the Island often over the years with his large extended family.
Sen. Lautenberg also hosted many of his colleagues at social gatherings in recent years, during an annual summer retreat attended by many members of the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Lautenberg died as a result of complications from viral pneumonia at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, his office said. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He had decided not to run next year for a sixth term.
Senator Lautenberg was first elected in 1982, after a successful business career. He served three terms and retired, but only briefly. New Jersey Senator Robert G. Torricelli chose not to seek re-election in 2002, and Mr. Lautenberg won the seat. He was re-elected in 2008.
He was the oldest member of the Senate, and the last member who served in World War II.