Former congressman Herb Klein dies at 93

November 25, 2023

Herb Klein, the former U.S. congressman from New Jersey, has died at the age of 93. 

Klein, according to the New Jersey Globe, passed away on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023.

The circumstances of Klein's passing, at the time of this writing, are unclear.

Klein is survived by his son and daughter. His wife, Jacqueline Krieger, passed away in 2017.

Who was Herb Klein?

From Newark, New Jersey, Klein would go on to attend Rutgers University and Harvard Law School before serving in the U.S. Air Force during a period from 1954 to 1956. After that, he began his career as a lawyer.

It was not until the 1970s that Klein got into politics. In 1971, he won a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly by defeating the Republican incumbent. He would remain in the New Jersey legislature until 1975, when his reelection bid came up short. Klein is particularly remembered for writing a law that created New Jersey's Economic Development Authority.

After his defeat, Klein went on to become the executive director of the Passaic County Democratic Party. It was not until the 1990s that Klein won a seat in the U.S. Congress. He did so in 1992, becoming the representative for New Jersey's 8th congressional district.

Klein only spent one term in the House, but it was not an uneventful one. The New Jersey Globe reports:

During his two years as a congressman, Klein sought major cuts in the federal budget, including the elimination of over 250,000 federal jobs, F-16 fighter jets, and super-conducting colliders.  He served on the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Klein was one of the 54 Democrats who, in 1994, lost their House seats during the midterm elections of President Bill Clinton's first term.

Remembering Klein

Following the news of his passing, several New Jersey politicians are paying tribute to Klein. This includes the state's governor, Phil Murphy (D).

"Tammy and I are incredibly sad to learn of the passing of our dear friend, former Congressman Herb Klein," Murphy said.

The governor went on to refer to Klein as a "dedicated public servant who always put his constituents first."

Another tribute came from one of Klein's fellow Passaic County Democrats, namely, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).

"Herb Klein was one of a kind. A dedicated public servant, a brilliant lawyer, and my close friend. I will miss his wisdom and I will miss his counsel," Pascrell, in part, wrote.

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