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John J. LaFalce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John J. LaFalce
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 2003
Constituency36th district (1975–83)
32nd district (1983–93)
29th district (1993–2003)
Preceded byHenry P. Smith III
Succeeded byAmo Houghton
Member of the New York State Assembly from the 140th district
In office
January 1, 1973 – December 31, 1974
Preceded byJames T. McFarland
Succeeded byHarold H. Izard
Member of the New York State Senate from the 53rd district
In office
January 1, 1971 – December 31, 1972
Preceded byWilliam E. Adams
Succeeded byGordon J. DeHond
Personal details
John Joseph LaFalce

(1939-10-06) October 6, 1939 (age 81)
Buffalo, New York
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Patricia Fisher LaFalce
EducationCanisius College (BA)
Villanova University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1965–1967
US-O3 insignia.svg

John Joseph LaFalce (born October 6, 1939) is an American politician who served as a Congressman from the state of New York 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.

Early life and education

LaFalce was born in Buffalo, New York, on October 6, 1939. He graduated Canisius High School before earning a bachelor's degree from Canisius College and law degree from Villanova University School of Law.

Military service

From 1965 to 1967, 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, Fleischmann & Mugel, and soon became active in public service.[1]


State politics

LaFalce 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.


In 1974, at the age of 35, LaFalce became the second Democrat, and the first since 1912, to win election to what was then the 36th congressional district of New York, which was based in Niagara Falls and also included much of northern Buffalo and the western suburbs of Rochester. LaFalce was elected as part of the "Watergate babies", 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.

He crafted legislation that became the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 for which he and three other colleagues earned the American Financial Leadership Award from the Financial Services Roundtable. LaFalce also played a key leadership role in introducing and championing what ultimately became the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, signed by President Bush in July 2002.[2]

LaFalce was generally a liberal Democrat, but strongly opposed abortion. He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Democrats for Life of America.[3] He also was among a handful of Democratic members who voted against the five Iran sanction bills that passed 1997-2001.[4]

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.

Later career

LaFalce served on the Board of Directors of State Bancorp, Inc., then parent company of State Bank of Long Island from 2007 to 2012.

LaFalce was Banking Board Member at the New York State Banking Department 2008-11.[5]

He served as the Chairman and Director of Erie County Industrial Development Agency from April 1, 2012 to May 2013.[6]

Personal life

He is married to the former Patricia Fisher and they have one son, Martin, who is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and currently works as a public interest lawyer in New York City.


LaFalce received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Villanova University School of Law (1991), St. John's University (1989), and Niagara University (1979), as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Canisius College (1990).[7]


  1. ^ Congressional Record, Nov. 19, 2001, 107th Cong., 2nd Sess.; vol. 148, No. 150, pages E2092-E2102[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "State Bancorp Inc. Elects the Honorable John J. LaFalce to its Board of Directors". Globe News Wire. 4 September 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  3. ^ National Advisory Board. Democrats for Life of America. Accessed March 21, 2009.
  4. ^ Congressional Quarterly Custom Vote Report. 27 January 2015.
  5. ^ "John J. LaFalce Biography". Bloomberg. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  6. ^ "John J. LaFalce biography". Bloomberg. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  7. ^ "The LaFalce Wrap-Up". LaFalce newsletter. January 2003.

External links

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

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

Succeeded by
Harold H. Izard
U.S. 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
This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 23:08
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