Lantos to Retire After Being Diagnosed With Cancer

Posted January 2, 2008 at 12:11pm

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday that he would retire from Congress at the end of this term after being diagnosed with cancer. “Routine medical tests have revealed that I have cancer of the esophagus,” Lantos said in a statement. “In view of this development and the treatment it will require, I will not seek re-election. “It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress. I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.” Best known for his strong voice on human rights issues, the 79-year-old Lantos is currently in his 14th term in the House. His Bay area-based 12th district leans strongly Democratic, though he has faced primary challenges in the past from the left. — Ben Pershing