Washington, DC — Bread for the World sends prayers and condolences to the family and constituents of Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ). He died today of complications from colon cancer.
"Congressman Payne's death is a huge loss to the hunger community," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Rep. Payne served on Bread for the World's board for five years. He was a dedicated public servant who was a champion for human rights and used his political influence to help change the lives of hungry and poor people here and around the world."
Payne was a member of the Bread for the World board from 2004 until 2009. He was the highest-ranked Democrat on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.
The New Jersey Democrat was a strong supporter of human rights and worked tirelessly to provide humanitarian assistance to developing countries, particularly in Africa.
Payne was the first African-American member of Congress from New Jersey.
Payne served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and a delegate to the United Nations. He also was a member of the Newark City Council, a former school teacher, and the first black president of the national YMCA.