Rep. Tom Lantos, 80, a California Democrat whose experience during the Holocaust shaped his concern for human rights and his staunch view in favor of U.S. military intervention abroad, died early this morning. He had esophageal cancer and died at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.
Lantos, born in Budapest to Hungarian Jews, served 14 terms in the House of Representatives. He is the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress. His district included southwest San Francisco and much of San Mateo County, where he was known for supporting the socially liberal agenda of his constituents. Last year, he announced he would not seek reelection because of his cancer treatment.
Lantos was a powerful figure on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he had been the senior Democratic member since 2001 and its chairman since 2007.