NEW YORK -

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg was the "definition of what it means to be a successful man," said Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke at the late senator's funeral Wednesday.

A synagogue in New York City was filled with Lautenberg's relatives, dignitaries and others.

Lautenberg, a liberal Democrat from New Jersey, died Monday after suffering complications from viral pneumonia. At 89, he was the oldest member of the Senate and the last World War II veteran to serve there.

Biden said Lautenberg "always thought practically" and would ask what he could do to improve issues before the Senate. The two met in 1975 and Biden said he later counted Lautenberg as one of his closest friends in the Senate.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Lautenberg was a steadfast supporter of families trying to keep children safe, women's rights, mass transit and other causes.

Clinton said there was never any doubt where Lautenberg stood on the issues. She also lauds him as a "champion of women's rights and opportunities."

Lautenberg's remains will travel by train to Washington, D.C., where he will lie in repose in the U.S. Senate chambers. He will then be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.