Joe Lieberman dead at 82: Former Democratic Senator and VP candidate passes away after suffering complications from a fall

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Lieberman died in New York, his family said in a statement Wednesday
  • He was a Democratic senator who became an independent
  • Al Gore’s running mate later backed John McCain, then helped found No Labels 

Former Senator Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic senator who was Al Gore’s running mate and later became a prominent force for independent candidates has died at 82.

Lieberman, from Stamford, Conn., served in the U.S. Senate from 1989-2013, overlapping with Joe Biden’s political career during his four terms in the chamber.

He died in New York City from complications from a fall.

‘His beloved wife, Hadassah, and members of his family were with him when he passed,’ according to a family statement. ‘Senator Lieberman’s love of God, his family and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest,’ it said.

He was a co-founder of the group No Labels, which is seeking to get a ticket to challenge the major party candidates on the ballot in all 50 states.

Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore, left, and his running mate, vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman, of Connecticut, wave to supporters at a campaign rally in Jackson, Tenn., Oct. 25, 2000. Lieberman, who nearly won the vice presidency on the Democratic ticket with Gore in the disputed 2000 election and who almost became Republican John McCain’s running mate eight years later, died Wednesday, March 27

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) arrives with his wife Hadassah at the Kennedy Center for a tribute concert for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on Mar. 8, 2009 in Washington, DC

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) arrives with his wife Hadassah at the Kennedy Center for a tribute concert for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on Mar. 8, 2009 in Washington, DC

Former Democratic vice presidential candidate, former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an No Labels co-chairman, introduces Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to speak at a No Labels Problem Solver convention, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Manchester, N.H

Former Democratic vice presidential candidate, former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an No Labels co-chairman, introduces Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to speak at a No Labels Problem Solver convention, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Manchester, N.H

He became the first Jewish major party nominee in 2000, when George W. Bush captured the White House. 

He was unsuccessful in his bid for the Democratic Party nomination in 2004 amid a split in the party over his support for the Iraq war. 

He switched to become an independent in 2006, and ended up endorsing longtime friend John McCain in 2008, speaking for him at the Republican National Convention. McCain had considered him as a potential running mate as an iconoclastic pitch to the center, instead settling on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

‘Connecticut is shocked by Senator Lieberman’s sudden passing,’ said Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who holds Liberman’s old seat, said in a statement.

 ‘In an era of political carbon copies, Joe Lieberman was a singularity. One of one. He fought and won for what he believed was right and for the state he adored. My thoughts are with Hadassah and the entire family.’ 

Lieberman helped fire up Democrats when Gore made history with his selection in 2000, often relying on humor on the campaign trail and debating Dick Cheney. 

Lieberman pictured in 1994 with Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. He also served with Joe Biden

Lieberman pictured in 1994 with Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. He also served with Joe Biden 

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut wrote a book about a Connecticut power broker, and said of Biden: 'I haven't seen him be able to do enough of it now as president'

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut wrote a book about a Connecticut power broker, and said of Biden: ‘I haven’t seen him be able to do enough of it now as president’

Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate in 2000, served 24 years in the Senate, and became an Independent. Here Lieberman talks with reporters as he walks through the Senate subway in Washington on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Lieberman was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, served 24 years in the Senate, and became an Independent. Here Lieberman talks with reporters as he walks through the Senate subway in Washington on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Liebeman helped found the No Labels group seeking to field a presidential candidate against the two major parties

 Liebeman helped found the No Labels group seeking to field a presidential candidate against the two major parties

Lieberman and wife Hadassah seen before Lieberman was offered the vice presidential nomination

Lieberman and wife Hadassah seen before Lieberman was offered the vice presidential nomination

Lieberman endorsed Republican John McCain, a friend a legislative partner. Here he is seen with McCain, Cindy McCain, Hadassah, and McCain's mother Roberta

Lieberman endorsed Republican John McCain, a friend a legislative partner. Here he is seen with McCain, Cindy McCain, Hadassah, and McCain’s mother Roberta

He reached the near pinnacle of Democratic politics, but was defeated in the disputed 2000 election, then drifted away from his party

He reached the near pinnacle of Democratic politics, but was defeated in the disputed 2000 election, then drifted away from his party

Lieberman, D-Conn., kisses his wife Hadassah during a rally in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2000, at a rally announcing Lieberman as Gore's running mate

Lieberman, D-Conn., kisses his wife Hadassah during a rally in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2000, at a rally announcing Lieberman as Gore’s running mate

Lieberman, accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth Haas, gives a kiss to the casket of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as he lies in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, on August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Lieberman, accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth Haas, gives a kiss to the casket of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as he lies in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, on August 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

Politicians Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and wife Hadassah Lieberman attend the press conference for Democratic National Convention on August 16, 2000 in Burbank, California

Politicians Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and wife Hadassah Lieberman attend the press conference for Democratic National Convention on August 16, 2000 in Burbank, California

 Hey partnered with McCain on key legislation in the Senate, but would later infuriate fellow Senate Democrats as he moved away from the party. But he also backed up the party’s policies on abortion, civil rights, and gay rights.

He began to drift away from Biden early, telling DailyMail.com in 2021 that Biden needed to become more of a ‘power broker.’

‘I must say that I haven’t seen enough of that yet,’ he told DailyMail.com in an interview in October that year.

He said he was ‘proud to support’ Biden in 2020. 

He complained that his last two years in the Senate, as an independent during the Obama administration, were the ‘most partisan and the least productive.’

His late-in-life career took him to the law firm of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, where partner Marc Kasowitz represented Trump during the Russia probe.

He recently told CNBC he felt ‘terrible’ when special counsel Robert Hur issued his report on Biden.

I think that’s just going to get worse doing the campaign,’ he said, after the report’s language on memory lapses.

‘As a friend, he’s not going to listen to me … I just wish he would decide it’s time to leave the stage with honor and dignity and not let himself get smeared during this campaign,’ he said. 

His funeral was planned for Friday Stamford, his hometown. 

 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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