New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter dies at 88

Rep. Louise Slaughter dies at age 88

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., a glass ceiling-shattering leader in Congress, died Friday at age 88, while serving her 16th term in the House of Representatives, her chief of staff said in a statement.

Slaughter was the first woman to chair the powerful House Committee on Rules and served as the Ranking Democrat in the 115th Congress, often exchanging friendly banter with Chairman Pete Sessions - a rival on the committee for 20 years.

The former chair of the Rules Committee - and the oldest member of the House - suffered a head injury after a fall, her office said.

In a statement on Thursday, the day before her death, Liam Fitzsimmons, Slaughter's chief of staff, said the congresswoman was "taken to George Washington University Hospital to receive treatment and monitoring for a concussion. She was simply great", Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted.

Slaughter had more than a passing interest in science; she was a microbiologist, the only one in Congress, according to her House biography.

After marrying Robert Slaughter in 1957, the couple moved to the Rochester area where she began to get involved in local politics.

Slaughter was a trailblazing, ceiling-breaking politician.

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In 2014, Slaughter nearly lost reelection, eking out a win by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Politicians, citizens, and friends are sharing their memories of Slaughter; they say she was known for her determination, compassion, and wit.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi walked into the Capitol on her first day in Congress in 1987 and quickly encountered a lawmaker who had just arrived in Washington a few months earlier: Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, the Rochester-area Democrat with an incongruous Kentucky drawl. "May it be a source of comfort to Louise's three daughters, Megan, Amy and Emily, and her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchild, that so many around the country mourn with them".

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was a tireless advocate for her constituents in NY. The Congressman played a role in restoring the history of Susan B. Anthony in Rochester and making sure there was a trail to celebrate women's history in Western New York. "I offer my honest condolences to her family and friends during this hard time". "From her leadership on issues from marriage equality to comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, Representative Slaughter fought arm in arm with our community every day". She was 88 and the oldest sitting member of Congress. She served there until 1978.

■ Bob Duffy, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president and CEO: "Louise was a friend and a colleague for years and I am shocked by her passing". "We're holding you in our hearts".

"Despite our party differences, Louise was always willing to work together in a bipartisan manner to fight for the people of our neighboring districts in Upstate New York". She spoke up for financial aid, and for federal investment in research as a means to give students a high quality education and access to emerging disciplines, such as photonics, which she embraced as an opportunity for growth in New York State.

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