Lambert was an American optometrist and legislator elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate as a Democrat. He died at the age of 77 at a Richmond hospital on Sunday, March 2 after an illness.
Lambert was well-known and loved by Virginians because of his tenure as an optometrist and as a politician.
His funeral brought legislators together in one place including four former Virginia governors. In fact, U.S. Senator Mark Warner jokingly requested that he bring legislators together in Washington.
Other than Senator Warner, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder also spoke at the funeral.
Mayor Jones said:
“It has been said that Benny was a good man, but I think that Benny was a great man. A great man because he was selfless and he was not unwilling to give of his time to his community.”
Lambert served three decades in the Virginia General Assembly and was the first African-American to serve on the Virginia Senate Finance Committee. His political career began when he was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in 1977. Then he was elected to the Virginia Senate in 1985. When Doug Wilder became Governor of Virginia, Lambert took over Wilder's Lt. Governor of Virginia seat.
Lambert was buried in Pryor Memorial Cemetery on Quioccasin Road in Henrico County. His survivors include his wife, Carolyn Morris Lambert; three sons, Benjamin J. Lambert IV, David Lambert and Charles Lambert, all of Richmond; a daughter, Ann-Frances Lambert of Los Angeles; his mother, Mary Frances Warren Lambert of Henrico; three brothers, Leonard L. Lambert Sr., John A. Lambert Sr. and Richard A. Lambert Sr., all of Richmond; two sisters, Dr. Elizabeth E. Johns of Mount Vernon and Dr. Anne S. Johnson of Overland Park, Kansas; and four grandchildren.
Dr. Lambert: Thanks for making Richmond, Virginia a better place.