New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez remembered his "colleague, good friend and ally" Frank Lautenberg in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Monday afternoon.

Senator Bob Menendez remembers Frank Lautenberg on the floor of the U.S. Senate (YouTube)

The junior Senator remembered Lautenberg's tenacity and how he didn't let setbacks deter him as a Senator and in life. "He was as tenacious in life as he was here in the Senate where that tenacity paid-off for the people of New Jersey and for the nation. When he had a setback with cancer, he did not let himself take one minute more than he had to before he got right back up and went right back at it," said Menendez.

He also recounted Lautenberg's early years working nights and weekend while a student at Nutley High School and then attending Columbia University on the G.I. Bill after serving in World War II. "Anyone who knew Frank Lautenberg knew he was destined to make something of himself, and he certainly did.  He joined two of his boyhood friends to found a very successful business.  He did very well indeed."

As an example of how Lautenberg "was always today's news," he recalled how he celebrated his 86th birthday at a Lady Gaga concert at Radio City.

And Menendez talked about Lautenberg's legislative achievements as "Mr. Transportation," successfully outlawed smoking on airplanes and got the Great Falls in his native Paterson designated a National Park. "Frank Lautenberg helped shape the history of America -- not just for his time, but for generations to come," said Menendez.