Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has died at George Washington University Hospital, her staff says.
The 88-year-old’s death comes a week after a fall at her home in Washington. Slaughter served the Rochester area in Congress for 16 terms and planned a run for a 17 term this year.
“To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature. 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. As the first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, Louise blazed a path that many women continue to follow. It is difficult to find a segment of society that Louise didn’t help shape over the course of more than thirty years in Congress, from health care to genetic nondiscrimination to historic ethics reforms. The Slaughter family is incredibly grateful for all the support during this difficult time. Details on funeral arrangements will be provided when they are available,” said Chief of Staff Liam Fitzsimmons.
Slaughter was first elected to Congress in 1986 and lived in Fairport after moving from Kentucky. Before Congress, Slaughter served in the state Assembly and Monroe County Legislator.
She was married to her husband Bob Slaughter for 57 years before his death in 2014. She is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Flags will be flown at half-staff in Monroe County in memory of the legendary congresswoman.
Governor Cuomo will now decide whether to hold a special election for Slaughter’s seat or keep it vacant until November.
Slaughter, a microbiologist herself, was always a fierce advocate for science, technology and academia, and among advocating for other projects, she always aimed at making Rochester an innovator in the sciences.
Slaughter advocated for a Rochester Amtrak station for decades and was integral in securing funding for it, to the tune of $18 million.
Slaughter led a more than three-year effort to create the federal photonics institute and to ensure that Rochester became the consortium’s national headquarters.
According to her chief of staff, after another vigorous lobbying effort, Slaughter then announced in 2017 that an RIT-led consortium won a competition by the U.S. Department of Energy to headquarter a new public-private clean energy manufacturing institute.
She also spearheaded reconnecting Rochester by filling in the eastern part inner loop, securing nearly $20 million for the project.
Many of her constituents tell News 8, no matter how long it takes she gets the job done. She brought visibility to breast cancer, securing $500 million through the Department of Defense. Executive Director of Breast Cancer Coalition Rochester, Holly Anderson is says she will be missed.
” She really understood that there were so many people still dying of this disease and continued to die. She made it a priority, ” Anderson said.