Ted Weiss

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Ted Weiss
Theodore S. Weiss 100th Congress 1987.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 1977 – September 14, 1992
Preceded byBella Abzug
Succeeded byJerry Nadler
Constituency20th district (1977–83)
17th district (1983–92)
Member of the New York City Council
In office
January 1, 1974 – December 31, 1976
Preceded byLouis Okin
Succeeded byRuth Messinger
Constituency25th district (1962–65)
3rd district (1966–73)
4th district (1974–76)
Personal details
BornSeptember 17, 1927
Gáva, Kingdom of Hungary (now Gávavencsellő, Hungary)
DiedSeptember 14, 1992(1992-09-14) (aged 64)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1946 – 1947

Theodore S. Weiss (September 17, 1927 – September 14, 1992) was an American Democratic Party politician who served in the United States House of Representatives for New York from 1977 until his death in 1992.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Weiss was born in 1927 in the Hungarian village of Gáva (now Gávavencsellő) and emigrated to the United States in 1938. He grew up in South Amboy, New Jersey. After graduating from H.G. Hoffman High School in South Amboy in 1946, Weiss served in the United States Army from 1946 to 1947. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1951, earning a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1952. In 1953, Weiss became a naturalized citizen of the United States.[2] Between 1955 and 1959, he was an assistant New York County District Attorney, before leaving the position to return to private practice.[1]

Rep. Ted Weiss

From 1962 until 1976, Weiss was a member of the New York City Council. He was a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Weiss was elected to Congress in 1976, representing most of Manhattan's West Side, and served from January 3, 1977, until his death.[2] He served on the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, the House Committee on Government Operations, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In 1985 Weiss headed a committee that found 90 percent of the twenty to thirty thousand new drugs used on farm animals had not been approved by the FDA in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. They also found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to remove several drugs already known to be Carcinogens.[1]

In 1983 he joined with 7 other Congressional Representatives to sponsor a resolution to impeach Ronald Reagan over his sudden and unexpected invasion of Grenada.[3]


Weiss was known for his avid support of liberal causes, including civil rights, open government, and the arts.[1] However, The New York Times observed in 1991, "Mr. Weiss draws particular scorn from conservatives because of what they see as his grandstanding and his stubborn, uncompromising adherence to his own ideology."[4]

Weiss died three days before the primary election for the renumbered 8th district, which would have also been the date of his sixty-fifth birthday. Due to the Congressman's ailing health, five Democrats appeared on the ballot to challenge him. Nonetheless, Weiss posthumously won the primary by a huge margin. State Assemblyman Jerry Nadler was named to replace Weiss on the ballot. Nadler won a special election for the balance of Weiss' eighth term, and a regular election for a full two-year term; he still holds the seat.[1]

The Ted Weiss Federal Building in Lower Manhattan, adjacent to the African Burial Ground National Monument, was named in Weiss's honor in 2003.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Dao, James (September 15, 1992). "Rep. Ted Weiss, 64, Dies; Liberal Stalwart in House". The New York Times. p. D22. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Weiss, Theodore S." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. U.S. Congress. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  3. ^ John Nichols (2016). "The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism". The New Press. ISBN 9781595587350. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  4. ^ Gruson, Lindsey (July 11, 1991). "Weiss, Unflinching Still, Facing Conservative Ire". The New York Times. p. B2. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Federal Building Will be Named for the Late Rep. Ted Weiss". Office of Congressman Jerry Nadler. April 29, 2003. Retrieved September 20, 2020.

Sources[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Louis Okin
Member of the New York City Council
from the 25th district

1962–1965
Succeeded by
Julius Moskowitz
Preceded by
Newly created district
Member of the New York City Council
from the 3rd district

1966–1973
Succeeded by
Miriam Friedlander
Preceded by
Carter Burden
Member of the New York City Council
from the 4th district

1974–1976
Succeeded by
Ruth Messinger
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bella Abzug
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district

1977–1983
Succeeded by
Richard Ottinger
Preceded by
Guy V. Molinari
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th congressional district

1983–1992
Succeeded by
Jerrold Nadler