A Democratic aide confirmed Lautenberg's death on Monday. He was the Senate's oldest member.
Lautenberg was feted in New York at the annual gala for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus life. He was absent from the ceremony because of a chest cold, but it was broadcast to his home.
His wife, Bonnie Lautenberg, accepted the organization's Renaissance Award, given each year to someone whose work has impacted Jewish life. She choked up when she took the stage and the crowd rose to its feet.
Frank Lautenberg was honored for contributions including the Lautenberg Amendment, which grants persecuted people refugee status in the United States. He announced in February he would not seek re-election next year.