Mark Lassiter, Social Security press officer

Mark Lassiter, Social Security press officer

Sad news, indeed.

The Social Security Administration announced that Mark Lassiter, the agency's press officer, died suddenly on Monday.

I have contacted Mark over the years about questions on Social Security or to get answers for readers about their benefits. He was always knowledgeable, helpful and quick to respond. My condolences to his family and co-workers.

Social Security released this statement:

“Mark was a great spokesperson who served both the needs of reporters and this agency extremely well,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.  “He also was a wonderful and witty person.  Please remember Mark and the Lassiter family in your thoughts and prayers.”

The announcement added: Mark began his career with Social Security in 1976 as a claims representative in the Portsmouth, Virginia field office.  Over his 35 years with the agency, Mark rose through the ranks, assuming jobs with increasing levels of responsibility in the Philadelphia Region and at Social Security Headquarters in Woodlawn, MD.  Mark had worked in the Social Security Press Office for the past eight years, serving as the agency’s Deputy Press Officer from June 2003 until November 2004 and as the national Press Officer from that time until his death on Monday.