Before becoming a member of the Senate, Lautenberg made a fortune building Automatic Data Processing, the payroll-processing services corporation. In explanation for why he decided to run for the Senate in 1982, he stated,
“I supported Birch Bayh, Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart, John Glenn,” he told the Trenton Times in 1982. “I thought, ‘If I’m willing to support them, why shouldn’t I support myself?’ ”
Lautenberg is survived by his second wife – Bonnie Englebardt, four children from his first marriage, two step-children, and 13 grandchildren.