March 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter has died, days after a fall in her home in Washington, D.C., her office announced Friday.
"To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature," Liam Fitzsimmons, her chief of staff, said in a statement. "She was a relentless advocate for western New York whose visionary leadership brought infrastructure upgrades, technology and research investments and two federal manufacturing institutes to Rochester that will transform the local economy for generations to come."
Slaughter, a Democrat born in Kentucky, had served in the House since 1987, winning 16 elections in New York's 25th district.
As the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, Slaughter helped shepherd the Affordable Care Act, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.
She co-authored the Violence Against Women Act and was a founding member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus on reproductive health. She also worked on legislation to ensure women and minorities were included in federal health trials.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi praised Slaughter's leadership as a bridge builder and her dedication to her constituency.
"Her tireless leadership was invaluable to passing legislation to expand access to affordable, high-quality healthcare and to help young people climb the ladders of opportunity with a good education. She made it her mission to help every man and woman chase their American Dream," Pelosi said in a statement.
Slaughter "was a living icon for women from all walks of life who wanted to get off the sidelines and make a positive change in their community," Jamie Romeo, chairwoman of the Monroe County, N.Y., Democratic Party told the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester. "I know many, including myself, would not be where they are today without the support and guidance from Louise."
Robert Slaughter, her husband of 57 years, died in 2014. She is survived by three daughters -- Megan, Amy and Emily, as well as seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.