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John J. LaFalce

John J. LaFalce
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 29th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Frank Horton
Succeeded by Amo Houghton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 32nd district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by George C. Wortley
Succeeded by district eliminated
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 36th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by Henry P. Smith III
Succeeded by district eliminated
Personal details
Born (1939-10-06) October 6, 1939
Buffalo, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Fisher LaFalce

John Joseph LaFalce (born October 6, 1939) is a former congressman from the state of New York; he served from 1975 to 2003.

LaFalce was first elected to the 94th United States Congress in 1974 and re-elected to each succeeding Congress through the 107th, serving his Western New York congressional district for 28 years, from 1975 to 2003. He served as Chairman of the House Small Business Committee from 1987 to 1995, and as Ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee from 1999 to 2003. He declined to seek re-election to the 108th Congress.


  • Personal background 1
  • U.S. Representative 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Personal background

LaFalce was born in Buffalo, New York, on October 6, 1939. He graduated from Public School 49 (1953), Canisius High School (1957), Canisius College (1961), and Villanova University School of Law in 1964. From 1965 to 1967, Rep. LaFalce served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era, leaving active duty with the rank of Captain. He returned from military service to practice law in Western New York with the law firm of Jaeckle, Fleischman and Mugel, and soon became active in public service.

He was a member of the New York State Senate (53rd D.) in 1971 and 1972; and a member of the New York State Assembly (140th D.) in 1973 and 1974.

He is married to the former Georgetown University Law Center and currently works as a public interest lawyer in New York City.

U.S. Representative

In 1974, at the age of 35, LaFalce became only the second Democrat, and the first since 1912, to win election to what was then the 36th congressional district of New York, which included most of northern Buffalo as well as Niagara Falls. LaFalce was elected as part of the large Democratic freshman class elected in the wake of Watergate. He was reelected 13 times, rarely facing substantive opposition.

During his career in the House of Representatives, he served on both the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs (now the Committee on Financial Services). In January 1987, he was elected by the Democratic Caucus as Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, thus becoming the first member of his class to chair a full, standing committee of the House. Following the change in control of Congress in 1994, he served as the committee's ranking Democrat. In February 1998, he was elected the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee and served in that capacity through 2003.

LaFalce had numerous accomplishments as a legislator. For example, he is credited with initiating the Competitiveness Policy Council.

LaFalce was generally a liberal Democrat, but strongly opposed abortion. He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Democrats for Life of America.[1]

After the 2000 census, New York lost two congressional districts. One plan called for the merger of LaFalce's territory with the neighboring 27th district of Republican Jack Quinn, a longtime friend who represented the other portion of Buffalo. The final map merged his district with the Rochester-based 28th District of fellow Democrat Louise Slaughter. The new district retained Slaughter's district number, but geographically was more LaFalce's district; indeed, only a narrow band of territory from Buffalo to Rochester connected the two areas. Nonetheless, LaFalce didn't seek reelection in 2002.


  1. ^ National Advisory Board. Democrats for Life of America. Accessed March 21, 2009.

External links

New York State Senate
Preceded by
William E. Adams
New York State Senate
53rd District

Succeeded by
Gordon J. DeHond
New York Assembly
Preceded by
James T. McFarland
New York State Assembly
140th District

Succeeded by
Harold H. Izard
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry P. Smith III
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 36th congressional district

Succeeded by
district eliminated
Preceded by
George C. Wortley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 32nd congressional district

Succeeded by
district eliminated
Preceded by
Frank Horton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 29th congressional district

Succeeded by
Amo Houghton
Political offices
Preceded by
Parren Mitchell
Chairman of House Small Business Committee
Succeeded by
Jan Meyers
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