After a fall in her Washington, DC home last week, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has died art the age of 88. While she suffered no broken bones, she was being treated for a concussion. A statement released by Slaughter’s office, stated that she was surrounded by her family at the time of her death.
Slaughter was the oldest member of the United States House of Representatives and the first woman to House Rules Committee. While many of Washington elite chose to waste tax payer money on lavish transportation costs, Slaughter chose to drive her personal vehicle when travel between Washington and her western New York home where she represented New York’s 25th Congressional district. She never moved from her Fairport, New York home that she and her husband bought when they first moved to the area.
A Democrat, Slaughter had served for 31 years and was amidst her 16th term as a Congresswoman at the time of her death.
House Minority leader Nancy Prlosi spoke on Slaughter saying, “She brought the grace and grit of her Southern background to her leadership in the Congress, building bridges and breaking down barriers all with her beautiful accent. Louise could be fiercely debating on the floor in the morning, and singing in harmony with her colleagues across the aisle in the evening.”
While a member of the House of Representatives Slaughter helped to secure funding for new Amtrak train stations in Rochester and Niagara Falls, helped to save the lives of thousands of military personnel by ensuring body armour was properly inspected and safe for use, helped to ensure equal education for all, fought for women’s health rights, and fought to ensure members of Congress were held to higher ethical standards.
She was always known simply as Louise to those she served and could often be found walking up and down the aisles of Wegman’s grocery store when she was hom from Washington, DC.
Slaughter first came to the House of Representatives in 1986 after defeating her Republican opponent Fred Eckert.
Before becoming a member of Congress, Slaughter served in the Monroe Country (Rochester, New York) legislature, was on the staff of New York governor Mario Cuomo, and served in the New York State Assembly.
She was born Dorothy Louise McIntosh on August 14, 1929 in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, the daughter of a blacksmith. She graduated fro the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology and a Master Master of Science degree in Public Health. She was the only microbiologist in Congress.
Predeceased by her husband of 57 years, Slaughter is survived by her three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great grandchild.