House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) died Monday from esophageal cancer at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the New York Times reports.
Lantos was 80 years old. Lantos had recently been involved in reauthorization hearings for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
President Bush in a statement released Monday said he appreciates Lantos' efforts to fight HIV/AIDS and address other human rights issues worldwide.
Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said Lantos was an "indispensable leader in the field of global AIDS and poverty," adding that the "fight against HIV/AIDS has lost a real hero. His leadership will be sorely missed".
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation