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Inside Joe Lieberman and Wife Hadassah's 42-Year Marriage

The longtime Connecticut senator and 2000 vice presidential candidate died on Wednesday at the age of 82

<p>Brendan Hoffman/Getty </p> Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and his wife Hadassah at a Kennedy Center concert in 2009

Brendan Hoffman/Getty

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and his wife Hadassah at a Kennedy Center concert in 2009

While the late Sen. Joe Lieberman was known for his lengthy career in politics, he had another enduring story that hallmarked his life — a 42-year marriage to his wife, Hadassah Lieberman.

The longtime Connecticut senator, who served as Al Gore's running mate in the 2000 presidential election — died on Wednesday at the age of 82. According to a family statement, his wife was by his side until the very end.

Related: Joe Lieberman, 2000 U.S. Vice Presidential Nominee, Dead at 82 After Fall

<p>Richard Messina/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty</p> Joe Lieberman and wife Hadassah embrace before the senator announces his retirement from Congress in 2011

Richard Messina/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty

Joe Lieberman and wife Hadassah embrace before the senator announces his retirement from Congress in 2011

"Former United States Senator Joseph I. Lieberman died this afternoon, March 27, 2024, in New York City due to complications from a fall. ... His beloved wife, Hadassah, and members of his family were with him as he passed," the statement read. "Senator Lieberman’s love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest."

Lieberman was wed in 1965 to his first wife, Betty Haas, with whom he shared two children. In 1982, shortly after his divorce, he got to know Hadassah, who also had a child from a previous marriage and was recently single.

<p>Getty</p> Hadassah and Joe Lieberman sit on a pier in an undated photo

Getty

Hadassah and Joe Lieberman sit on a pier in an undated photo

As the story goes, the future senator was approached in his synagogue by a woman who said, "I have someone I want you to meet — but not yet," according to a Washington Jewish Week report later cited by the Washington Post.

Six months later Lieberman phoned Hadassah — the daughter of Holocaust survivors born in Czechoslovakia — and the two quickly bonded over their deep and sincere religious convictions.

The couple had one child together: a daughter, Hana.

<p>Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty</p> Hadassah Lieberman greets her husband, Joe Lieberman

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Hadassah Lieberman greets her husband, Joe Lieberman

In a 2021 interview, the senator spoke about the importance of tradition in his marriage, saying, "We're quite traditional about Friday night rituals at the table. It's a little funny of us, and I don't know anybody else who does this, but my wife and I decided that the tune that is the traditional tune for [Shabat song] 'Eshet Chayil,' was repetitive, and Hadassah said there was only so much praise she could take in one dose."

He continued: "So we sing the first stanza and the last stanza. The song is the tribute that the man offers the woman, his wife, as a woman of valor, thanking her for all that she's meant to him in the preceding week and longer than that."

<p>Michael Springer/Getty </p> Joe and Hadassah Lieberman share a banana split in New Hampshire during the senator's 2004 presidential campaign

Michael Springer/Getty

Joe and Hadassah Lieberman share a banana split in New Hampshire during the senator's 2004 presidential campaign

In addition to their shared religious values, the couple were both successful in their own right. Hadassah — a graduate of Boston University in 1970 who received her master's from Northeastern University — has worked in communications and as an analyst at companies like Lehman Brothers and Pfizer, and as a senior program officer at the National Research Council.

A four-term senator from Connecticut, Lieberman became the first Jewish candidate on the national ticket of a major party in the 2000 election when he was tapped as Gore's running mate. The two lost the election to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

<p>Michael Springer/Getty </p> Hadassah and Joe Lieberman on the 2004 presidential campaign trail

Michael Springer/Getty

Hadassah and Joe Lieberman on the 2004 presidential campaign trail

When Lieberman was announced as Gore's VP pick, it was Hadassah who greeted reporters — barefoot, according to a 2000 New York Post report — to express her pride in her husband.

“I’m very proud,” she said at the time. “I’m overwhelmed by this incredible moment in time, in history, in the history of my family and the history of many immigrants throughout the country who share this feeling with me.”

Related: Al Gore Calls Climate Change a 'Life or Death Battle' — But Feels 'Good' About New Youth Leaders

<p>Paula Bronstein/Tribune News Service via Getty</p> Joe Lieberman kisses his wife, Hadassah, after announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Feb. 22, 1988

Paula Bronstein/Tribune News Service via Getty

Joe Lieberman kisses his wife, Hadassah, after announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Feb. 22, 1988

As their longtime rabbi once recounted to the Post, the couple were also known for lighthearted banter, with Hadassah once joking with her husband after he had been praised at an event as one of the great leaders in the country.

“How many truly great leaders are there in the Western world today?” Lieberman asked his wife on the ride home from the event, per the rabbi's retelling.

“One less than you think,” Hadassah jokingly replied.

Lieberman's funeral has been set for Friday in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut, per Reuters.

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