American politicianDied when: 80 years 10 days (960 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius
Thomas Peter Lantos (born Tamás Péter Lantos;February 1, 1928 – February 11, 2008) was a Holocaust survivor and American politician who served as a U.S. representative from California from 1981 until his death in 2008.
A member of the Democratic Party, he represented the state's 11th congressional district until 1993 and from then the 12th congressional district, which both included the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of the southwestern part of San Francisco after redistricting.
Lantos, who served as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in his last term, announced in early January 2008 that he would not run for reelection because of cancer of the esophagus.
He died before finishing his term.A Hungarian Jew, Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to have served in the United States Congress; he survived the genocide with help from Raoul Wallenberg.
In speaking before the House of Representatives after his death, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that Lantos "devoted his public life to shining a bright light on the dark corners of oppression.
He used his powerful voice to stir the consciousness of world leaders and the public alike." U2 lead singer Bono called him a "prizefighter", whose stamina would make him go "any amount of rounds, with anyone, anywhere, to protect human rights and common decency".
In 2008, after his death, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which he founded in 1983, was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Its mission is partly "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights".In the final weeks of his life, Lantos asked that a non-profit be established to carry on the work he felt so passionately about.
The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice was founded later that year to carry out that wish.In 2011, the Tom Lantos Institute was set up in Budapest to promote tolerance and support minority issues in Central Europe and Eastern Europe as well as in the world.