Former New Jersey Rep. Bill Hughes dies at 87

Former New Jersey Rep. Bill Hughes dies at 87
© Courtesy Stockton University

Former Rep. William Hughes (D-N.J.), who served in Congress for two decades, has died at 87, according to a statement from his family provided by Stockton University, home to the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy

Hughes represented New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District from 1975 to 1995. He then served as ambassador to Panama from 1995 and 1998.

Hughes is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Hughes died Wednesday at his home in Ocean City, N.J. Additional details about his death were not provided.

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The former lawmaker, who was a member of the House Judiciary Committee, was behind an amendment that banned fully automatic guns, according to the statement. 

“His legacy will live on through his family and the many achievements that he made on behalf of our great nation,” his son, William Hughes Jr., told the Associated Press.

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezKasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage MORE (D-N.J.) said in a statement he is "forever grateful" for Hughes's "guidance and friendship."

"Bill proudly represented the people of his district and represented the best of New Jersey," Menendez said. "I will miss him, but his legacy of good works and decency will live on through his children and all those he touched, taught and are left with his memory.”

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) called Hughes a "New Jersey icon."

"As a respected Congressman, he fought to protect the Jersey Shore from polluters and the Pinelands from development," the New Jersey governor said in a statement. "As U.S. Ambassador to Panama under President Clinton, he served our nation on the world stage."

Updated at 2:40 p.m.