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Norman Frederick Lent
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York

In office
January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Allard K. Lowenstein
Succeeded by David A. Levy
Constituency 5th district (1971–73)
New York's 4th congressional district|4th district (1973–93)
Member of the
New York State Senate

In office
January 1, 1963 – December 31, 1970
Preceded by Daniel G. Albert
Succeeded by Norman J. Levy
Constituency 2nd district (1963–65)
6th district (1966)
7th district (1967–70)
Personal details
Born (1931-03-23)March 23, 1931
Oceanside, New York, U.S.
Died June 11, 2012(2012-06-11) (aged 81)
Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara Morris Lent
Residence Arlington, Virginia
West Palm Beach, Florida
Alma mater Hofstra University
Cornell Law School
Occupation Attorney

Norman Frederick Lent (March 23, 1931 – June 11, 2012) was an American politician from New York. Under both the Republican and Conservative Party banners, he served in the New York State Senate from 1963 to 1970 and in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1993.

Early life

Lent was born in Oceanside, Nassau County, New York. He graduated from Malverne High School in 1948, from Hofstra University in 1952, and from Cornell Law School in 1957. Lent served as a code breaker in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1954, during and immediately after the Korean War[1]

Following his military service, Lent worked as a lawyer in private practice in Lynbrook, New York beginning in 1957, and served as an Associate Police Justice in East Rockaway from 1959 to 1960. He then worked as Confidential Law Secretary for New York Supreme Court Justice Thomas P. Farley from 1960 to 1962.

Political career

New York State Senate

Lent was a member of the New York State Senate from 1963 to 1970, sitting in the 174th, 175th, 176th, 177th and 178th New York State Legislatures.

As a State Senator, he opposed the integration of the elementary schools in Malverne, which the state's education commissioner ordered in 1963.[2] After the United States Supreme Court upheld order, Lent introduced an anti-busing bill in the State Senate that was ultimately signed into law but found unconstitutional by a federal court.[3] Lent stated that he opposed the order because the integration could undermine neighborhood schools.[2]

Lent supported efforts to expand the grounds under which women could have legal abortions in New York.[2] He headed both the Joint Committee on Public Health as well as the Senate Health Committee and pushed for a limited expansion of the law in order to reduce the number of illegal abortions taking place. The joint committee recommended expanding the legal grounds to include forcible rape, incest, substantial risk to the physical or mental health of the mother, unmarried mothers under 16 years, “gross abnormalities” of the fetus, and mental incompetence or physical disability of the mother.[4]

Congressional service

Lent was elected as a Republican to the 92nd, 93rd, 94th, 95th, 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, 101st and 102nd United States Congresses, holding office from January 3, 1971, to January 3, 1993.

He was a delegate or alternate delegate to the 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1992 Republican National Conventions.

Lent entered Congress by defeating an incumbent, the controversial Democratic representative Allard K. Lowenstein, by 9,300 votes in a hotly contested election in a newly drawn, largely Republican district. One of his campaign slogans was the play on words, "Let's vote out Lowenstein for Lent." Long Island's generally liberal Five Towns region had recently been removed from the district, and the far more conservative Massapequa added, during Congressional redistricting by the Republican-controlled State legislature.

The election was viewed nationwide as a referendum on President Richard Nixon's conduct of the Vietnam War. Lent supported Nixon's policy of gradually withdrawing American Forces from Vietnam while turning the fighting over to the South Vietnamese Army.

As a U.S. Representative, Lent was endorsed several times by Long Island's largest newspaper, Newsday, whose editors called Lent a "key player in environmental and energy legislation". He was most active as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, ultimately becoming the ranking minority member of both committees.

Lent worked on drafting and handled floor debate for the Republican minority on some of the most sweeping environmental, energy, telecommunications and transportation legislation enacted during his tenure. These included the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, National Energy Policy Act of 1992, Cable Television Act, Legislation ending the 1992 National Rail Strike, the Superfund Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TOSCA), the Conrail Privatization Act, and the Insider Trading and Securities Fraud, Enforcement Act.

Lent held Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from Hofstra University (1988) and Molloy College (1985) and was the recipient of the Prime Minister's Medal, State of Israel (1977), Distinguished Achievement Medal, Holland Society of New York (1987) and the George Estabrook achievement Award, Hofstra University (1967), along with many other awards.

Lent died on June 11, 2012 at his home in Arlington, Virginia, of cancer.[5]


Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Daniel G. Albert
New York State Senate
2nd District

Succeeded by
Bernard C. Smith
Preceded by
Irving Mosberg
New York State Senate
6th District

Succeeded by
John R. Dunne
Preceded by
John R. Dunne
New York State Senate
7th District

Succeeded by
Norman J. Levy
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Allard K. Lowenstein
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
John W. Wydler
Preceded by
John W. Wydler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
David A. Levy

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