Former Senator Joe Lieberman dies at age 82

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 82 years old.

Lieberman died in New York City “as a result of a fall,” his family said in a statement.

“His beloved wife Hadassah and members of his family were with him when he died. “Senator Lieberman’s love for God, his family and America continued throughout his life of service to the public interest,” the statement said.

Lieberman, a prominent Jewish politician who represented Connecticut, was Al Gore’s candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2000. A political maverick who eventually became an independent, he also came close to being a candidate for the presidential nomination of former Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, attached. The two were friends and both defense hawks who advocated for a muscular U.S. posture abroad.

Lieberman has become a player on the political stage again in recent years as the founding leader of the No Labels Party, which is considering launching a “unity ticket” for this year’s presidential election, although no major candidate has announced plans to join.

Lieberman “meant so much to so many,” No Labels said in a statement following his death. “He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He was a senator and statesman. He was the founding leader and moral center of the No Labels movement.”

“His unexpected death is a terrible loss for all of us,” the statement continued.

“Senator Lieberman was a unique figure in American political life who always put his country above party. He was a deeply principled and pragmatic leader who considered public service a privilege and dedicated his life to the betterment of others. As a four-term senator, he led the passage of transformative bipartisan legislation that made America’s air and water cleaner, made us safer after 9/11, and expanded equality and opportunity for all,” the statement continued in part.

“Senator Lieberman leaves a void that cannot be filled,” No Labels added. “But we are honored to have known him and we hope his family can find comfort in the difficult days ahead knowing what a tremendous impact he had.”

Lieberman’s funeral will be held Friday at Congregation Agudath Sholom in his hometown of Stamford, his family said.

PHOTO: Senator Joe Lieberman poses for a portrait in Beijing on October 15, 2023.

Senator Joe Lieberman poses for a portrait in Beijing on October 15, 2023.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

Connecticut lawmakers honored Lieberman after news of his death broke.

“Connecticut is shocked by the sudden death of Senator Lieberman. In an age of political copies, Joe Lieberman was something special. One of them. He fought and won for what he believed was right and for the state he revered. My thoughts are with Hadassah and the entire family,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“On a global and national level, he helped define and shape an era of history,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a statement. “He was a passionate advocate, a man of deep conscience and conviction, and a courageous leader who sought to bridge gaps and bring people together. He was committed to family and faith and was a role model for public service. He never stopped.” He listens to both friends and opponents. He leaves a lasting legacy as a champion of consumers, environmental values, civil rights and other great causes of our time, and he worked tirelessly for Connecticut no matter how far or high he reached.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who defeated Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic Senate primary but then lost to him in the general election when Lieberman ran as an independent, said there were ideological differences but honored Lieberman as “a man of Integrity and Conviction” and so on “We stayed in touch as friends in the best traditions of American democracy” after her race was over.

ABC News’ Rick Klein and Kelsey Walsh contributed to this report.

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