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June 14, 2024

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman has died

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman has died

Former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman has died, his family announced in a statement Wednesday. He was 82.

Lieberman died Wednesday afternoon in New York with his wife, Hadassah, and other loved ones at his side after he suffered complications from a fall, his family said in the statement.

“Senator Lieberman’s love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest,” his family said.

Lieberman was the Democratic vice presidential nominee who ran with former Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.

In a statement on X Wednesday night, Gore called Lieberman a man of integrity whose “strong will made him a force to be reckoned with.”

“It was an honor to stand side-by-side with him on the campaign trail,” Gore said.

The pair were defeated by former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In his own statement, Bush said he was “saddened” by the loss of Lieberman, referring to him as “one of the most decent people I met during my time in Washington.”

“As Laura and I pray for Hadassah and the Lieberman family, we also pray that Joe’s example of decency guides our Nation’s leaders now and into the future,” Bush said.

In his later years, Lieberman was co-chairman of No Labels and was heading up the committee to vet its potential unity ticket candidates. A hefty share of the group’s leadership and key staff members had left over the last year. Lieberman was effectively the group’s top spokesperson through its effort this past year to field a third-party ticket.

In a statement, No Labels, which encourages cooperation across the aisle, referred to Lieberman as the “moral center” of its movement and called his death “a profound loss for all of us.”

And Republicans praised him Wednesday. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on X commended Lieberman’s commitment to working with “anyone regardless of political stripe.”

Lieberman’s passing was also mourned by lawmakers in his state, including Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who in a statement Wednesday cited “political differences” with Lieberman but referred to him as “a man of integrity and conviction.”

In 2006, Lamont launched a challenge against Lieberman in the state’s Democratic primary, narrowly defeating him for the party’s Senate nomination. After he conceded the primary, Lieberman vowed to run as an independent and ultimately won his fourth and final term.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said the state was “shocked” by Lieberman’s sudden death.

“In an era of political carbon copies, Joe Lieberman was a singularity. One of one,” Murphy wrote on X.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also expressed his condolences in a statement on X, referring to Lieberman as a longtime friend of more than 50 years, “a man of deep conscience [and] conviction, [and] a courageous leader who sought to bridge gaps and bring people together.”

International leaders have also weighed in, with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling Lieberman, who was Jewish, “an exemplary public servant, an American patriot and a matchless champion of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition’s national chairman, former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, called him “a true mensch and a great American.”

Lieberman’s funeral will be Friday at Congregation Agudath Sholom in his hometown, Stamford, Connecticut, his family said. A second memorial service is expected to be announced later.

Zoë Richards

Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.

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