My iPhone alerted me to breaking news this morning. when I checked, I found I had received news from the New York Times, Wall St. Journal and NBC all alerting me that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has died.

Since I really didn't know anything about the man, I was surprised that this was such big news. After all, the alerts all said he was 89.

But upon reading his obit I realized that he was the last World War II veteran in the Senate and the chamberís oldest member, so that does make his death more than passing news, I suppose. (In case you are wondering, Sen. John McCain (R Arizona) is a mere 77. He was born in 1936 and his war wounds date from Viet Nam.)

Apparently Sen. Lautenberg had survived a bout with blood cancer in 2010, but had been in failing health for the last few months and had been absent from the Senate floor for much of the year.

God rest his soul -- and blessings to his family.
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