New Jersey: Rep. Donald Payne Passes Away at 77

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 6, 2012 at 9:02am

Updated 9:15 a.m. | Rep. Donald Payne (D) of New Jersey has passed away, two sources confirmed to Roll Call this morning.

The 77-year-old Congressman had been suffering from colon cancer. In a press release earlier this year, his office expressed optimism about his prognosis but news began to circulate last week that his health took a turn for the worse.

He was transported back to New Jersey on Friday. One New Jersey delegation Hill staffer told Roll Call that a member of the Payne family spoke to his boss telling him of the news.

Tributes to Payne from his colleagues began rolling in Tuesday morning.

“Donald Payne was a true trailblazer — a champion for education and civil rights who sought to combat injustice all over the world,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said in a statement. “I will greatly miss my friend and brother. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May Donald Payne rest in peace.”

Read the full Payne obituary here.