Theodore S. "Ted" Weiss (September 17, 1927–September 14, 1992) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York serving from 1977 until his death from heart failure in New York City in 1992.[1]

Weiss was born in Gáva, Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1938 as his family fled the Nazi invasion of Hungary. He grew up in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Weiss served in the United States Army from 1946 until 1947. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1951, earning a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1952. In 1953, Weiss became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Between 1955 and 1959, he served as assistant New York County, New York (Manhattan) district attorney, before leaving the position to return to private practice.

Rep. Ted Weiss

From 1962 until 1976, Weiss was a member of the New York City Council. He was a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Weiss was elected to Congress in 1976, representing most of Manhattan's West Side, and served from January 3, 1977, until his death. Weiss was known for his avid support of liberal causes, including civil rights, open government, and the arts. He served on the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, the House Committee on Government Operations, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In 1985 Weiss headed a committee that found 90 percent of the twenty to thirty thousand new drugs used on farm animals had not been approved by the FDA in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. They also found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to remove several drugs already known to be carcinogens.

Weiss died three days before the state's Democratic primary election. Due to the Congressman's ailing health, five Democrats appeared on the ballot to challenge him. Nonetheless, Weiss posthumously won the primary by a huge margin. State Assemblyman Jerry Nadler was named to replace Weiss on the ballot and was handily elected in November; Nadler still holds the seat.

A federal office building located at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, adjacent to the African Burial Ground National Monument, has been named in Weiss' honor.


  1. ^ Dao, James (September 15, 1992). "Rep. Ted Weiss, 64, Dies; Liberal Stalwart in House". New York Times.