By Angela Delli Santi
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s journey from a childhood so poor his family couldn’t afford his bar mitzvah to his life as a multimillionaire businessman who served for decades in the Senate was remembered Wednesday at an Upper East Side funeral at Park Avenue Synagogue at 87th and Madison Avenue packed with dignitaries.
“He came out fighting, and he never stopped,” Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove told mourners, including Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, several former governors and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“Frank would always be a man of the people and for the people, never forgetting his humble start,” Cosgrove said. He began the service with a Hebrew blessing while Lautenberg’s wife and children stood near the senator’s flag-draped casket.
Lautenberg, a liberal Democrat from New Jersey, died Monday after suffering complications from viral pneumonia. At 89, he was the oldest member of the Senate and the last of 115 World War II veterans to serve there.
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