Statement by Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, RWJF President and CEO, on the Passing of Sen. Frank Lautenberg

The five-term New Jersey lawmaker is remembered as a passionate advocate for public health.

    • June 3, 2013

Princeton, N.J.—It is with great sadness and deep admiration that we at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation extend our condolences to the family and friends of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who represented our home state of New Jersey with distinction.

Sen. Lautenberg was a true champion of public health throughout his career, sharing the Foundation’s goal of improving the health and health care of all Americans.

As author of the 1989 legislation banning smoking on domestic airplane flights, and a strong supporter of the law requiring labels with warnings against the dangers of smoking, Sen. Lautenberg helped reduce the use of tobacco in America.

In 1984, he wrote the law setting the national drinking age at 21, and in 2000 he helped establish legislation setting a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent as the definition of drunken driving. Sen. Lautenberg also worked to improve food safety and women’s health education, as well as expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In his home state, the Senator consistently fought to provide individuals with equal access to health care, securing federal funds for medical research, hospitals, and mobile medical facilities throughout New Jersey.

We are sincerely grateful for his many years of public service and his enduring commitment to the well-being of all Americans.