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Autism Speaks Mourns Senator Frank Lautenberg

June 03, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (June 3, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today mourned the loss of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, citing his consistent leadership in Congress for a strong federal funding role for autism research and services.

"We mourn the loss of Senator Lautenberg, a dependable champion for the Combating Autism Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, arguably the two most impactful pieces of legislation for our community," said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. Lautenberg played a lead role in securing federal research funding for autism through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, and was a strong advocate for improved transportation services for all Americans with disabilities.

Lautenberg, 89, died Monday from complications of viral pneumonia. Lautenberg was first elected to the Senate in 1982, retired in 2000 and then was re-elected in 2002. He was the oldest member of the Senate and its last surviving World War II veteran at the time of his death.

Autism Speaks extends its condolences to the Senator's family, friends and colleagues.