Frank Lautenberg’s milestones and achievements

Frank Lautenberg set several milestones during his long tenure. He was first elected to the Senate in 1982, making him the longest serving senator in the history of the Garden State — and the last World War II veteran to do so. 

1924 — Born in Paterson, N.J.

1941 — Graduated from Nutley High School, Nutley, N.J.

1942 — Joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

1949 — Graduated from Columbia University, in New York City.

1952 — Named CEO of ADP, a payroll processing business.

1982 — Elected to first term in the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick.

1984 — Introduced the bill that raised the national drinking age of 21

1989 — Introduced the bill which banned smoking on U.S. domestic flights.

— Introduced the Lautenberg Amendment for Refugees, which allows members of historically persecuted groups from the former Soviet Union, Iran and Southeast Asia to more easily resettle in the United States.

1996 — Introduced the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, which made it illegal for known perpetrators of domestic violence to own a gun. The ban passed as an amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997.

1999 — Announced his plan to retire from the U.S. Senate.

2000 — Federal courthouse and post office in Newark, N.J., renamed after Lautenberg.

2002 — Elected to Senate once again, this time defeating Republican Douglas Forrester and replacing Democratic incumbent Robert Torricelli, who did not seek re-election.

2007 — Introduced a bill that allowed N.J. to have tougher chemical plant security regulations than required by federal law.

2008 — Introduced a bill that boosted Amtrak funding 

2013 — Announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014.

June 3, 2013 — Died at age 89.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.