Marland Jeffries, the father of House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, dead at age 85

 January 2, 2024

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the top Democratic lawmaker in the lower chamber of Congress, just suffered a tragedy to end the year.

The New York lawmaker's office revealed that the Democratic Leader's father, Marland Jeffries, passed away on New Year's Eve at the age of 85, according to the Washington Examiner.

The elder Jeffries was said to have "died peacefully in his sleep" but no specific cause of death was mentioned in the congressman's statement.

Jeffries mourns the loss of his father

On Monday afternoon, Rep. Jeffries posted a statement to X: "It is with a heavy heart that the Office of Leader Hakeem Jeffries announces the passing of his beloved father Marland Jeffries, 85."

"Mr. Jeffries died peacefully in his sleep during the early morning hours of Sunday, December 31, 2023," the statement continued. "He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Laneda, two sons, five grandchildren, brother and a host of family and friends throughout the country."

The statement noted, "Marland Jeffries, a graduate of Central State University in Ohio and Columbia University in New York, and proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., will be dearly missed. Those who love him are thankful for the full life that he lived."

"The Jeffries family asks for privacy at this time," the statement added. "May God bless and watch over your family and loved ones in 2024."

Inspired by the public service of his father and mother

According to USA Today in Jan. 2023, House Democratic Leader Jeffries, 52, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York -- specifically in the Crown Heights neighborhood -- by his loving father and mother, Marland and Laneda Jeffries.

His mother served as a social worker in the community while his father worked as a substance abuse counselor for the state.

It was their lifelong work as public servants that inspired the congressman's own "public service spirit," the younger Jeffries previously revealed in an interview, per the outlet.

The loss of a parent at any age is a grievous thing, and all partisan differences aside, we offer condolences to Jeffries for the death of his father and pray for the peace and understanding of him and his family as they mourn the departed.

The rise of House Democrats' young new leader

According to USA Today, Rep. Jeffries, who first entered politics at the local level and was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2006, was first elected to Congress in 2013 to represent New York's 8th District and swiftly climbed the ranks to serve in a leadership position for multiple terms as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

He was reportedly the "preferred successor" to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), then the Minority Leader, when she stepped aside from leadership at the beginning of the 2023-2024 congressional term and was unanimously selected by his Democratic colleagues in the House to replace her as the Democratic leader.

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