NJ Sen. Lautenberg Dead at 89 Chris Christie will appoint his replacement By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Jun 3, 2013 9:15 AM CDT 51 comments Comments In this May 3, 2012 file photo, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg smiles as he stands on the Rutgers-Camden campus in Camden, NJ. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) (Newser) – Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who was the oldest sitting member of the United States Senate, died this morning of viral pneumonia at the age of 89, reports the Record. Lautenberg, who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2010, had been in ill health since late last year and said in February he would not run for re-election in 2014. Gov. Chris Christie will appoint his temporary replacement and schedule a special election; Cory Booker has not been shy about his intention to run for the seat. A few notable facts, by way of the Record, AP, and Washington Post: Lautenberg was New Jersey's longest-serving senator ever, the chamber's last World War II vet, and the author of the bill that banned smoking on domestic airline flights.