Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Dead At 82

Joe Lieberman, former U.S. senator from Connecticut, has died at age 82. His family released a statement (via CNN): "Former United States Senator Joseph I. Lieberman died this afternoon, March 27, 2024, in New York City due to complications from a fall. He was 82 years old," the family reported. "His beloved wife, Hadassah, and members of his family were with him as he passed. Senator Lieberman's love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest."

Lieberman was known for his faith as much as for his politics and made history in 2000 when Al Gore tapped him to become the first-ever Jewish vice-presidential candidate. The pair ran against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney but lost in an extremely close race. Lieberman then tried to earn the Democratic nomination in 2004 but bowed out in the early stages of the primaries. He continued his long and distinguished — if often controversial — term in the Senate until his retirement in 2013 after 24 years in service.

Married twice, Lieberman is survived by his second wife, Hadassah, their three children, and a stepson. In keeping with the traditional Jewish custom of prompt burials, Lieberman's funeral will take place in Connecticut on March 29, with a memorial service to be held at a future date. 

Joe Lieberman was respected by both sides of the political spectrum

Joseph Isadore Lieberman, son of a liquor store owner, was born in Stamford, Connecticut. He studied law at Yale and worked briefly as an attorney before turning his focus to politics. Elected to the Connecticut Senate in 1970, he was also the state's attorney general from 1983 to 1988, the year he was elected to Congress. 

While Lieberman held typical Democratic views on issues such as abortion, gun control, and environmental issues, he wasn't afraid to oppose his party on other matters, most notably his support for the Iraq War. Lieberman was also outspoken in his criticism of Bill Clinton following his notorious dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. Still, though he found the former president's conduct "immoral" and "harmful" (per the New York Post), the senator stopped short of voting to convict him during his impeachment hearing. 

Lieberman's moderate stance and ethical nature earned him the admiration of many Republican politicians as well as those from his own party. So respected was he that he nearly got the ultimate GOP honor — the late Arizona senator John McCain, who ran for president in 2008, nearly crossed party lines to tap Lieberman as his running mate, but ultimately chose Sarah Palin instead. John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain, normally given to fiery criticism as a TV personality and journalist, posted a simple but touching tribute on X (formerly Twitter) about the senator's death. Posting a photo of herself with her father and Lieberman standing in a creek, she wrote simply, "I love you Joe."