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By Sarah May on
 March 28, 2024

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman dies unexpectedly at the age of 82

Sad news emerged from the political realm on Wednesday when it was announced that a longtime former lawmaker and onetime vice-presidential candidate died unexpectedly at age 82.

Ex-Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman passed away at the age of 82, reportedly from complications suffered after a fall, as Fox News reports.

Unexpected passing

The death of the first Jewish American to hold a spot on a major party's ticket was confirmed in a statement issued by his family.

“Former United States Joseph I. Lieberman died this afternoon, March 27, 2024, in New York City due to complications from a fall. He was 82 years old. His beloved wife, Hadassah, and members of his family were with him as he passed, his loved ones said.

The communication went on, “Senator Lieberman's love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest.”

Celebrated career

As Fox News noted, Lieberman's Senate career spanned the years 1989 to 2013, and though he initially entered the upper chamber as a Democrat, his 2006 re-election came after he changed his affiliation and became an independent.

Lieberman made history in 2000, when, as Al Gore's running mate, he was the first Jewish candidate to appear on a major American political party's ticket.

He went on to seek the presidential nomination in his own right in 2004 but exited the race after lackluster performances in early primary states.

In his later years, Lieberman remained highly active in American political life as the founding chairperson of the No Labels group, an organization working to bring centrist policies and candidates to the forefront.

Man of unwavering faith

One of Lieberman's most defining characteristics was an unwavering commitment to his Jewish faith, which, as the Times of Israel suggests, made him “a trailblazer for American Jews” in the eyes of many.

David Friedman, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, opined that Lieberman “set the standard for observant Jews to serve our nation in a principled and dignified manner.”

As the Jerusalem Post further noted, Lieberman and his wife kept a kosher home, strictly observed Shabbat, and notably even walked to the Capitol to block a Republican filibuster that happened to be unfolding on the Sabbath.

Tributes pour in

Former colleagues from both sides of the aisle offered words of praise as soon as the news of Lieberman's passing began to spread, with Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy (D) declaring, “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.”

Calling the former lawmaker's death “devastatingly sad,” Sen. Lindsey Graham added, “To Hadassah, I know your heart is broken, but please understand your legion of friends love you dearly. To the Lieberman family, we will be with you through this journey. I look forward to sharing more thoughts about this wonderful man and the incredible life he lived,” and he is clearly far from alone in those sentiments.

Written By:
Sarah May

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