Frank Raleigh Lautenberg (January 23, 1924 – June 3, 2013) was a businessman and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as United States Senator from New Jersey from 1982 to 2001 and from 2003 until his death.
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, he graduated from Nutley High School. After serving overseas in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1946, Lautenberg used the GI Bill to earn a BS in economics from Columbia Business School. He worked as a salesman for Prudential Insurance and was the first salesman at Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a payroll-management company. He became the company's CEO in 1975. He was the executive commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1978 to 1982.
In 1982, he ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey, defeating nine other candidates to win the Democratic nomination and narrowly defeated Republican Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick in the general election. In Congress, he was known for his legislative efforts against drunk driving, and his support of spending for Amtrak and urban public transportation, for stronger environmental regulations, greater consumer protections, and investigations of wrongdoing by Wall Street. He announced his retirement in 2000, regretting the decision almost immediately.
After Robert Torricelli withdrew from the Senate race for New Jersey's other Senate seat in 2002, Lautenberg took over as the Democratic candidate, defeating Republican Doug Forrester. Back in the Senate, Lautenberg was once again considered one of the chamber's most liberal members. He was pro-choice, supported gun control, introduced many bills increasing penalties for carjacking and car theft, and criticized the Bush administration on national security issues. He was heavily involved in various anti-smoking and airline safety legislation. He also co-sponsored legislation to increase drunk driving penalties. He was probably best known as the author of the legislation that banned smoking from most commercial airline flights.
On February 14, 2013, Lautenberg announced he would not seek re-election. He died on June 3 of viral pneumonia in New York City. At the time of his death, he was the last remaining World War II veteran in the Senate. Lautenberg was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.