Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, died early Monday after a six-week fight with cancer, his spokeswoman said.
Spokeswoman Lynne Weil said this morning that the 80-year-old Lantos died at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in suburban Maryland. He was surrounded by his wife Annette Lantos, daughters Annette and Katrina, and many of his 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
His wife said in a statement that her husband’s life was “defined by courage, optimism, and unwavering dedication to his principles and to his family.”
They sure don’t make enough Representatives like him.
Since becoming chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs a year ago, he has advocated tirelessly for human rights in China, Russia, Burma and Darfur. Late last year, he assailed Yahoo executives for handing over the identity of a Chinese activist, telling them in not quite politically correct fashion: “Morally, you are pygmies.”