CELEBRATING LESTER WOLFF'S 97TH BIRTHDAY; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 6
(Extensions of Remarks - January 11, 2016)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E28]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                         HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, January 11, 2016

  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life, legacy, 
and the work of our esteemed former colleague, Congressman Lester 
Lionel Wolff, who is an exceptional father, husband, lawmaker, war hero 
and dear friend to many of us. Lester is not only an inspiration to 
future political leaders and public servants, but also an embodiment of 
diligence, persistence and success.
  It is well known to those who know Lester that he will never stop 
working to make our country better. Lester, who has recently turned 97, 
is still working hard as chairman of the International Trade and 
Development Agency and The International Information Agency and 
frequently travels to Washington, DC from New York City to visit 
congressional offices.
  Lester was born on January 4, 1919 and is a life-long New Yorker. 
Married to the late Blanche Silver, he has two loving children, Bruce, 
a prominent Washington lawyer, and Diane, an Adjunct Professor at the 
State University. He has four grandchildren and six great-
  Elected to the United States Congress in 1964, Lester served 16 years 
before retiring. It was an honor enough to work with him on a number of 
bills throughout the years. His service as Chairman of Foreign Policy 
Planning, Chairman of Asian Pacific Affairs, Chairman of the Select 
Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control and Ranking Member of the 
Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee will not be forgotten.
  One of his notable bills was the Foreign Assistance Act of 1969, 
which restored the initiative for direct peace talks between Israel and 
the Arab States. He also led the congressional delegation to meet with 
Deng Xiaoping, Father of Modern China. The Deng-Wolff conversation was 
credited by the Department of State for its particular importance in 
the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the People's 
Republic of China and the United States. He is the author of the Taiwan 
Relations Act signed into law on April 10, 1979. This landmark law has 
undoubtedly helped the United States maintain and enhance its ties with 
Taiwan for more than three decades. Thanks to Lester, Taiwan is the 
United States' 10th largest trading partner, and the United States is 
Taiwan's largest foreign investor. Anyone who works with Lester is well 
aware of his prudence and expertise in foreign policy.
  Despite his retirement, he and I went on a trip to Taiwan to speak to 
government officials on U.S.-Taiwan relations and attend the Democratic 
Pacific Assembly--The Common Future of the Pacific in the 21st Century.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my distinguished colleagues to join me in 
recognizing and honoring Lester Wolff--the man who keeps on inspiring 
us with his wisdom and long-serving dedication to strengthening our 
country. I am pleased to see the fruits of his labor in Congress and as 
a public servant.