Statement on the Passing of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr.

April 24, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 24, 2024 – The following is a statement from Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), on the passing of U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-N.J.).

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr., a tremendous champion in the fight to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Like so many people across the U.S., Rep. Payne, Jr. was personally touched by this disease. His father, Rep. Donald M. Payne, passed away from colorectal cancer in 2012 after a life of dedicated public service. Rep. Payne Jr. shared his personal story of losing his father as the inspiration for his work in a guest post for ACS CAN’s Cancer CANdor blog a year later in 2013. He also honored his father’s legacy as a speaker during ACS CAN’s Lights of HOPE ceremony in  2018.

“During his time in Congress, Rep. Payne Jr. championed cancer-related causes, specifically supporting policies that encourage and increase access to cancer prevention and early detection services. He was a lead sponsor of the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act and supported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Colorectal Cancer Control Program. More recently, Rep. Payne Jr. championed awareness of and access to prostate cancer screenings for those at the highest risk of prostate cancer, especially Black men. He was a co-sponsor of the Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for High-risk Insured Men (PSA Screening for HIM) Act and spoke at the launch of the ACS Improving Mortality from Prostate Cancer Together (IMPACT) initiative at Howard University in 2023. He also participated in a video highlighting the importance of prostate cancer awareness and the PSA Screening for HIM Act for an ACS CAN Black Volunteer Caucus fireside chat on Black men and prostate cancer.

“For his efforts, ACS CAN was proud to honor Rep. Payne Jr. with the National Distinguished Advocacy Award, the organization’s highest honor, in 2021.  One of ACS CAN’s volunteers from New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District happily presented him with the award.

“We are deeply grateful for Rep. Payne Jr.’s commitment and support throughout his distinguished career. He will truly be missed. We express our deepest condolences to his family and the people of New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District.”




Media Contacts

Trista Hargrove
Director, Media Advocacy - Health Equity