NJ's long-serving Democratic lawmaker, Senator Frank Lautenberg, passed away earlier today at age 89. His office told the Bergen Record that he died of viral pneumonia.

Lautenberg served in the Army Signal Corps and then went to Columbia on the GI Bill. He later founded ADP, the computing services company, with two friends and he led the firm as chairman and CEO. In 1982, he ran for Senate and won, winning re-election every term. Earlier this year, Lautenberg announced he would not seek re-election in 2014, and said, "I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey."

His decision prompted President Obama to remark, "Throughout his time in the Senate, Frank has fought tirelessly for workers, veterans, members of our military and their families, and immigrants, and he continues to make extraordinary contributions to our nation’s safety, and the health and welfare of our citizens. His service in World War II is a testament to his character and deep commitment to public service. I look forward to working with Frank on critical issues before us these next two years, and Michelle and I wish him and Bonnie all the best."

The Record notes, "The oldest member of the Senate, Lautenberg had struggled with health problems since late last year, when he missed several weeks of votes because of what he said was flu and bronchitis. The death of Lautenberg, a Democrat who was the longest-serving senator in New Jersey history, creates a vacancy that Governor Christie, a Republican, will fill."