Thomas Peter Lantos (born Tamás Péter Lantos; February 1, 1928 – February 11, 2008) was an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from California, serving from 1981 until his death as the representative from a district that included the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of southwestern San Francisco.
Lantos had announced in early January 2008 that he would not run for re-election because of cancer of the esophagus.
He died before finishing his term.
A Hungarian-American, Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the United States Congress.In speaking before the House of Representatives after his death, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that Lantos "devoted his public life to shining a bright light on the dark corners of oppression...
He used his powerful voice to stir the consciousness of world leaders and the public alike." U2 lead singer Bono called him a "prizefighter", whose stamina would make him go "any amount of rounds, with anyone, anywhere, to protect human rights and common decency".In 2008, after his death, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which he founded in 1983, was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Its mission is partly "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights".
In 2011, the Tom Lantos Institute was set up in Budapest to promote tolerance and support minority issues in central and eastern Europe and in the world.