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Joseph Lieberman

(1942 - 2024)

Joseph Lieberman was a Jewish American politician, vice presidential nominee, author, and former U.S. Senator from Connecticut.

Lieberman was born on February 24, 1942, into a Jewish working-class family in Stamford, Connecticut. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Yale University.

In 1970, he was elected to the Connecticut State Senate and served as majority leader from 1974 to 1980. From 1982 to 1988, he served as Connecticut’s attorney general.

In 1988, Lieberman won his first election to the U.S. Senate, upsetting three-term liberal Republican Lowell Weicker. He was re-elected in 1994 in the biggest landslide victory in a Connecticut Senate race, receiving more than 67 percent of the vote. He won reelection as a Democrat again in 2000.

On August 8, 2000, Lieberman was selected as Al Gore’s vice presidential candidate, the first time in U.S. history that a Jew had been selected to run for one of the two highest places in the U.S. political system. Though Gore and Lieberman lost the election to George Bush, history had been set.

In 2006, Lieberman lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont and ran in the general election as an Independent. He eventually won the election over Lamont with 49.7% of the vote, while Lamont received just over 40%. Following that term, Lieberman retired from the Senate effective January 1, 2012.

Lieberman was always a strong supporter of Israel in the Senate and co-sponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, calling on the President to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Lieberman was the author of seven books and lived in Connecticut with his wife, Hadassah, a Czech-born daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Together, they had one daughter, Hannah; he also had a son and a daughter from a previous marriage, and she had a son from a previous marriage. They had two granddaughters.

Lieberman died on March 27, 2023. He was 82.

Sources: Senator Lieberman’s office.