Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who represented parts of the Buffalo area for more than a decade, has died after a fall at her Washington, D.C. home last week.
Slaughter was 88 years-old, making her the oldest member of the House of Representatives.
Liam Fitzsimmons, her chief of staff, said Slaughter died this morning at George Washington University Hospital after suffering a concussion.
The 16-term lawmaker had represented the Rochester region in Congress since 1987. She was planning to run for re-election this fall.
“To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature," Fitzsimmons said in a statement. "She was a relentless advocate for Western New York whose visionary leadership brought infrastructure upgrades, technology and research investments, and two federal manufacturing institutes to Rochester that will transform the local economy for generations to come."
Slaughter was the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee. She was the first woman to chair that committee when she led it from 2007 through 2010.
Fellow Congressman Brian Higgins said Slaughter's passing is a loss for Western New York and the nation.
"Her commitment to public service was extraordinary, serving 47 years in elected office, including 32 years in Congress She was a strong and respected leader in the House of Representatives and a passionate advocate for the community she represented and loved. The nation had lost a fervent defender of righteous policies and Western New York has lost a champion."
Slaughter's husband Robert died in 2014. The couple had been married for 57 years.