Longtime Senator, Former VP Candidate Joe Lieberman Dies At Age 82

Joe Lieberman, who represented Connecticut in the US Senate for more than two decades and ran alongside Al Gore during his historically unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2000, has died at the age of 82.

Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman died at the age of 82 on Wednesday, Match 27.

Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman died at the age of 82 on Wednesday, Match 27.

Photo Credit: US Senate

The Democrat-turned-Independent died Wednesday, March 27, in New York after suffering complications from a fall, according to NBC News.

"Senator Lieberman’s love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest," the outlet quoted his family as saying.

News of his death sparked a flood of tributes from across the political spectrum. Among them was current Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who described Lieberman as a friend for over 50 years.

“On world and national stages, he helped to define and frame an era of history. He was a fierce advocate, a man of deep conscience and conviction, and a courageous leader who sought to bridge gaps and bring people together,” Blumenthal said.

“He was dedicated to family and faith, and he was a role model of public service. He never ceased listening to both friends and adversaries.

“He leaves an enduring legacy as a fighter for consumers, environmental values, civil rights, and other great causes of our time and he was tireless in working for Connecticut no matter how far or high he went. Cynthia and I are with his family in heart and prayer at this difficult time.”

Sen. Chris Murphy said he was “shocked” by Lieberman’s sudden passing in a post on X.

“In an era of political carbon copies, Joe Lieberman was a singularity. One of one. He fought and won for what he believed was right and for the state he adored. My thoughts are with Hadassah and the entire family.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said while he and Lieberman had their political differences, Lieberman "was a man of integrity and conviction, so our debate about the Iraq War was serious."

"I believe we agreed to disagree from a position of principle. When the race was over, we stayed in touch as friends in the best traditions of American democracy," Lamont said.

A native of Stamford, Lieberman earned his bachelor of arts degrees in political science and economics from Yale University in 1964, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.

At Yale, he served as editor of the Yale Daily News and was a member of the Elihu Club, the fourth oldest senior society at the school.

Lieberman began his political career in 1970, when he was elected to the Connecticut Senate as a Democrat. He served 10 years in the chamber, the last six as majority leader.

After serving as Connecticut attorney general from 1983 to 1989, he was elected to the US Senate as a Democrat. 

Lieberman’s national stardom grew brighter in 2000 when Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore, himself vice president under Bill Clinton, tapped Lieberman as his vice-presidential running mate.

The ticket ultimately lost to Republican President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney after the election was decided by the US Supreme Court following a dispute over vote counts in the state of Florida.

In 2006, Lieberman switched his party affiliation to Independent. Among his notable accomplishments in the Senate were initiatives against video game violence, which are considered the driving force behind the industry-wide video game rating system.

In 2002, Lieberman led the effort to create the Department of Homeland Security while serving as Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

In 2006, he and Maine Sen. Susan Collins drafted legislation to reshape the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to more effectively prepare for and respond to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

He served on the Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.

Lieberman retired from the Senate in 2013, at the end of his fourth term.

After leaving office, he became senior counsel of the white-collar criminal defense and investigations practice Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman in New York City. He later taught an undergraduate course in political science at Yeshiva University, a private Orthodox Jewish university in New York City.

He was a founding co-chair of the political organization No Labels, which aims to support centrism and bipartisanship through what it calls the “commonsense majority.”

Lieberman leaves behind three children – a son and daughter with first wife Betty Haas, and a daughter with wife Hadassah Freilich Tucker. 

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