27 Facts About Tom Lantos

1.

Tom Lantos, who served as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in his last term, announced in early January 2008 that he would not run for reelection because of cancer of the esophagus.

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2.

Tom Lantos used his powerful voice to stir the consciousness of world leaders and the public alike.

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3.

In 2011, the Tom Lantos Institute was set up in Budapest to promote tolerance and support minority issues in Central Europe and Eastern Europe as well as in the world.

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4.

Tom Lantos's family was heavily involved in education and included an uncle who was a professor at the University of Budapest and a grandmother who was a high school principal.

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5.

Tom Lantos escaped, but was caught by the Germans and beaten severely, then returned to the labor camp.

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6.

Tom Lantos again escaped, this time making his way back to Budapest, 40 miles away.

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7.

Tom Lantos joined Wallenberg's network; his fair hair and blue eyes, which to the Nazis were physical signs of Aryanism, enabled him to serve as a courier and deliver food and medicine to Jews living in other safe houses.

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8.

Tom Lantos described some of his experiences in the Academy Award-winning documentary film The Last Days, produced by Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation.

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9.

In 1981, Tom Lantos sponsored a bill making Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States and became a member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

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10.

Tom Lantos then emigrated to the U S and studied economics at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned a B A in 1949 and an M A in 1950.

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11.

Tom Lantos continued his post-graduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, and received a Ph.

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12.

Tom Lantos eventually became a senior advisor to various U S Senators and in 1980 was elected to the U S Congress, where he remained until his death in February 2008.

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13.

Tom Lantos made his first run for office in 1980, challenging Republican Congressman Bill Royer, who had won a 1979 special election after Democrat Leo Ryan was killed in the Jonestown massacre.

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14.

Tom Lantos earned a reputation as a champion for various human rights causes, such as having Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang testify at a congressional hearing, when the company turned over the email records of two Chinese dissidents to the Chinese government, allowing them to be traced and one sentenced to jail.

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15.

Tom Lantos was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and repeatedly called for reforms to the nation's health-care system, reduction of the national budget deficit and the national debt, repeal of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

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16.

Tom Lantos supported same-sex marriage rights and marijuana for medical use, was a strong proponent of gun control and adamantly pro-choice.

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17.

Tom Lantos was an advocate on behalf of the environment, receiving consistently high ratings from the League of Conservation Voters and other environmental organizations for his legislative record.

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18.

Tom Lantos served as the chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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19.

Tom Lantos declared Turkey's mass killings of Armenians during World War I to be genocide.

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20.

Tom Lantos was a strong supporter of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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21.

Tom Lantos was an immediate and consistent critic of the troop surge advocated by President Bush.

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22.

Tom Lantos's added: "Wherever there was injustice or oppression, he used his expertise and moral authority to put the United States on the side of justice and human rights".

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23.

Tom Lantos was an activist for the rights of Hungarian minorities; as a member of the US House of Representatives.

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24.

Tom Lantos supported Morocco's demand to gain sovereignty over Western Sahara, and criticized the Polisario Front, which demands independence for the disputed region.

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25.

Tom Lantos drove over a young boy's foot and then failed to stop his vehicle and was later fined over the incident for inattentive driving.

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26.

In June 2007, Tom Lantos called former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder a "political prostitute" at the dedication ceremony of the Victims of Communism Memorial, which caused a political backlash from the German government.

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27.

Tom Lantos was referring to Schroder's ties to energy business in Russia, and remarked that this appellation would offend prostitutes.

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