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R.I.P. Tom Lantos

Written by PETA | February 11, 2008
sfspca/Creative Commons

Congressman Tom Lantos of California died today of cancer at the age of 80. The only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress, Lantos was a staunch advocate for human rights and a powerful defender of animals, beginning with his offer to help with the Silver Spring monkeys case (PETA’s first major investigation), and continuing throughout his career, as he went on to found the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus, push through the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Act following Hurricane Katrina, and sponsor or support dozens of pieces of legislation aimed at ending the suffering of animals.

Lantos has said that his traumatizing experience in the Holocaust, during which his family was killed and he spent time in a forced labor camp, gave him and his wife Annette an understanding of what it means to be victimized for no other reason than being different from others, and inspired them both to devote their lives to working on behalf of the oppressed and the downtrodden. At PETA, we are profoundly indebted to Tom Lantos for his insistence that oppression should be fought wherever it exists, not just where it’s convenient, and we will always remember the important work that he did to help animals with gratitude and admiration.

Tom Lantos will be deeply missed here at PETA, both by those of us who knew him personally, and by those of us, like me, who have been inspired by his example. Even as we mourn his loss, we celebrate his amazing work for all beings.

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  • Tamara says:

    I saw the headline in the news about a Holocaust survivor passing away but had no idea he was a member of Congress. Much less a lover and supporter of animals. It sounds like he was a great man. I wish I would have known more about him. Thanks PETA for the tribute to him. May he rest in peace.

  • NutMeg says:

    He sounds like he was a wonderful person who touched the lives of both humans and animals. RIP

  • Pamela L. says:

    What more could I possibly say about the wonderful and compassionate Mr.Tom Lantos that my fellow advocates have not already said. I agree with all of you who have said that he has gone to a very special place in heavenwhat a loss for all of us who love the animals and especially the animals themselves. Rest in Peace Sir.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Thank you PETA for honoring this wonderful man. As a Califorian we have lost one of the most compassionate people here for the animals. He was just serving his 14th term that says a lot about the man. Thats how respected he was and always will be. Let’s hope that Annette can fill his seat. It’s happened before and we pray this shall happen once again. For Rep. Lantos there were no bounds when it came to the voiceless. All of America will miss this beloved man. Rest in peace sweet man. You are so very missed. Judith

  • Janet says:

    May God bless his soul!


    Tom Lantos is a great soul who had the rare privilege on earth to understand that one cannot have one thing without the other! There is no justice meant for one species or for one race but for all all living beings are children of GOD!

  • LIsa Allender says:

    Tom Lantos allaround kind peaceful soul.You will be missedman. It is a stirring tribute to his evolution as a human being that he links his experiences in the Holocaust to the current treatment of animals particularly those called “livestock”. Thank you PETA for honoring him.

  • Maureen says:

    Tom Lantos taught us that true compassion knows no boundaries.

  • Susan T says:

    Oh Tom Lantos will be sorely missed but his legacy will go on. If ever there was a man deserving of hearing the words from our Creator”Well done thou good and faithful servant”it is Tom Lantos. Thank you for everything! We will continue your mission to help the oppressed and the voiceless for as long as it takes!

  • Ricky says:

    Thank you Tom! You will be missed.

  • Carla says:

    Tom Lantos “The only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress”!! To survive the Holocaust was enough to pay tribute “BUT” to go on to serve in Congress “AND” to have that fight to be a defender of animals!! WE thankyou you have that special place in Heaven!

  • Canaduck says:

    He sounds like a wonderful person.