John Adler Dead: Former New Jersey Congressman Dies At 51

Former U.S. Congressman John Adler passed away on Monday at the age of 51, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

A Democrat from New Jersey, Adler served one term in the House of Representatives after being elected to office in 2008. He lost his campaign for reelection last fall to former Philadelphia Eagles player and Republican challenger Jon Runyan.

The Inquirer and Courier Post Online report that the former lawmaker passed away in the wake of undergoing emergency heart surgery last month after contracting "staph bacterial endocarditis."

Adler began working for the Greenberg Traurig law firm after falling short in his campaign for reelection, according to NBC Philadelphia. Before being elected to congress, he served as a state senator in the New Jersey legislature.

The AP reports that New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver said, "Congressman Adler was a true example of what it means to serve the people." State Senator Diane Allen said the former legislator's "intellect and energy was a benefit to his constituents and all who had the honor of serving with him."

Adler is survived by his wife Shelley and their four sons.