U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies at 88 After Fall at Home

Democratic U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter of New York died early Friday, her chief of staff said. She was 88.

Slaughter died at George Washington University Hospital in Washington after an injury sustained in her home last week, Liam Fitzsimmons said in a statement.

“It is difficult to find a segment of society that Louise didn’t help shape over the course of more than thirty years in Congress,” Fitzsimmons added.

Born in Kentucky, Slaughter was first elected to Congress in 1986. She served as chair of the powerful House Rules Committee from 2007 to 2011, the first woman to hold the position.

At the time of her death, Slaughter was the top Democrat on the committee. She was a feisty opponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), complaining that Rochester, New York, in her district lost half of its manufacturing jobs after the treaty went into effect. She supported rewriting NAFTA.

“Congresswoman Slaughter embodied the very best of the American spirit and ideals,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “With her passing, the Congressional community has lost a beloved leader and a cherished friend.”

“Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was a giant. She had deep convictions — on both issues important to the people of Rochester, and for the integrity and honesty of the political system,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said in a statement.

SOURCE: Reuters, Justin Mitchell and Susan Cornwell